June 30 2011,

Fisherman out for an enjoyable time on the water off the coast of Florida hauled in quite a surprise when they found a rare 25-foot-long giant squid floating in the water. According to details listed in a press release from the University of Florida, Robert Benz spotted the giant squid while fishing with friends Joey Asaro and Paul Peroulakis. The three managed to haul in the dying squid into the 23-foot fishing boat.

“I thought we definitely need to bring it in, because no one’s going to believe us if we don’t,” Benz was quoted as saying in the press release. “I didn’t want to leave it out there and just let the sharks eat it.”

Although the squid died later, the squid was taken to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Tequesta Field Laboratory in Palm Beach County and later collected and taken to the University of Florida. Scientists feel its possible this qiant squid may have died of natural causes. Although they live in deep ocean depths, the squid reproduce once in their lives and then start a long, slow death.

Seeing a squid this huge can be intimidating but the species has been known to grow up to be 60 feet long and weigh more than 1,000 pounds. Little is know about the life, ecology and reproductive cycles of these massive creatures that have inspired stories of sea monsters.

The mystery of the giant squid has lived on since until recently, nobody had ever seen a giant squid alive in their natural habitat until a Japanese film crew was the first to capture one on video about seven years ago.

At present, scientists are analyzing the specimen, hoping to learn more about its DNA. The research team is looking to hopefully identify the giant squid’s sex and age.

[via Discovery News]


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