14-Foot Giant Squid Washes Up On New Zealand Beach

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According to a spokeperson from New Zealand's Department of Conservation, the huge animal is most likely a giant squid, Architeuthis sp. One user likened the find brothers with a stuffed giant squid on display in Te Papa in Wellington.

The impressive cephalopod was discovered by brothers Daniel, Jack and Matthew Aplin as they scoured the coastline near Red Rocks for a spot to go diving. The brothers then contacted New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, which eventually confirmed that they had "almost certainly" spotted a giant squid, a creature that was measured at nearly 14 feet, or 4.2 meters in length.

The size of the giant squid easily overshadowed any of the courageous souls that had the guts to lay beside the poor sea creature.

This isn't the first time a giant squid has washed up on New Zealand beaches.

"My brother said "what's that over there?' and pointed it out", Daniel Aplin said".

"After we went for a dive we went back to it and got a tape measure out and it measured 4.2 metres long", he told the Herald. "Bugger seeing that in the water", one man wrote.

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The giant squid is the largest type of squid save for the colossal squid.

Male giant squids can grow as large as 10 metres long, and have suckers and barbs running down the length of their arms. As for what squids eat, they prefer other squid species or deep-sea fish, catching them with two tentacles and gripping them with their serrated rings.

"It was pretty clean, nothing major on it", Daniel Aplin explained.

When they said big, they really meant big! "There was a scratch on the top of its head but smaller than a lighter, tiny, wouldn't think that's what killed it", he said.

The colossal squid is estimated to be between 39 and 46 feet in length and can weigh up to 750 pounds.

On the other hand, giant squids are usually preyed upon by sperm whales, with younger and smaller squids of the species occasionally hunted by deep-sea sharks.