7 Mind-Blowing Facts About Giant Squids


Throughout history, people have shared myths of colossal sea monsters that prey on sailors and can crush ships with their massive tentacles. Of course, nowadays, we know that all those tales are massively exaggerated, but they still boggle our minds in books, movies, and video games.

While still a mystery, marine zoologists have studied these spectacular mollusks for years, and the things we’ve discovered will boggle your mind.

1. World’s Largest Invertebrates

Exactly how big can these giant squids get? Males can reach up to 43 feet—that’s like a four-story building with tentacles! Females are slightly smaller, at around 33 feet, but still impressive. There are rumors of these squids reaching a staggering 66 feet, but we’ve yet to catch one that huge. As for weight, they’re not lightweight champs, either. They range from 440 to 617 pounds, with some outliers tipping the scales at nearly 700 pounds! Imagine stumbling upon one of these big boys in the deep blue—that’s something you’ll never forget.

2. The Infamous Kraken

Humans have known about giant squid monsters since ancient times. Sailors have told stories about tentacled sea beasts for centuries. The myth of the Scandinavian Kraken, for example, is thought to have originated from sightings of a giant squid. However, new technologies have put an end to the myth and revealed some real facts. Scientists managed to register the behavior of a giant squid in the deep ocean for the first time in 2012. It still looks huge and otherworldly, but it’s definitely not as big as a floating island and not as bloodthirsty.

3. Deep Sea Dwellers

The giant squid used to be shown as a scary sea monster, freaking out sailors and everyone else. But don’t worry, you don’t have to avoid your favorite beach because of it. People don’t know much about its behavior, but most of them were seen quite deep underwater, like 300-1000 meters. You can find giant squid all over the world, but they don’t really hang out in tropical or polar waters.

4. What Do Giant Squid Eat?

So, the big question is: Would a giant squid see you as a snack? Well, considering that live encounters are about as rare as finding a unicorn, most of what we know comes from peeking into the stomachs of unlucky deceased ones. Good news, though—no human leftovers were ever found, so you’re relatively safe. In fact, these creatures prefer a seafood buffet with shrimp, squid (yep, they’re into self-catering), and even small whales on the menu.

5. Predators of the Deep Blue Sea

Not many creatures are big or brave enough to take down a giant squid, but the one that can is the sperm whale. Scientists have even found the beaks of these squids inside the whales’ stomachs. To find the giant squid, the whale uses some tricks like echolocation or making light to attract them. But the fight between these two is not all fun and games. The sperm whale often gets scars from the jagged sucker rings that the giant squid has on its arms. And when they’re young, these squids have to watch out for sharks, larger fish, and whatever else is down there looking for a snack.

6. Giant Eyes

It is difficult to see anything in the darkness of the abyss, so it’s no wonder why the squid has developed giant eyes to spot any approaching enemy in the dark. As a matter of fact, the giant squid’s eyes are the largest eyes in the entire animal kingdom, reaching 27 centimeters in diameter! This is as much as a large dinner plate or a basketball. Squid’s huge eyes are capable of detecting bioluminescent organisms at a distance of many kilometers.

7. Life Expectancy and Reproduction

Did you know that giant squids have a statocyst that helps them maintain balance? It has a mineralized mass called a statolith, which scientists can use to figure out their age. It turns out that giant squids can live only up to five years. Their mating habits and reproductive processes are still a mystery because of that. They probably reproduce only once in their lifetime, like many other cephalopods. Some researchers suggest they use chemical signals to find a mate. Some scientists also think that male giant squids can throw their spermatophores from a distance in the direction of females. What a wild way to get funky!