Beachgoers in South Africa were shocked after an extremely rare giant squid washed up, and locals flocked to the site to catch a glimpse of the creature, which can be sold for thousands
A monster squid with razor-sharp teeth left beachgoers horrified after washing onto a shore.
They were stunned to see one of the world’s most elusive deep-sea creatures, first filmed in 2006 and first photographed alive in 2001.
Giant squid can span a staggering 43 feet, although the animal that recently washed up in Kommetjie, South Africa, was not fully grown but was still estimated to be a whopping 11 feet 5 inches (3.5) in length.
Local Ali Paulus, 44, and her wildlife-loving sons rushed to the beach when they heard about the incredibly rare sighting.
She said: “After our neighbor notified us, we rushed to the beach. I couldn’t believe how big he was.
“What really struck me were the razor sharp ‘teeth’ in the suction cups on their tentacles. I have since learned that they are used to defend against sperm whales.
“I was very sad that the squid was dead, but it was incredibly fascinating for my sons to see. I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
She explained that a local fisherman “unfortunately” came and cut up the squid for meat, but not before she was able to snap some incredible photos.
Usually when discovered in South Africa, giant squid are kept in the Iziko Museums.
Intact remains can fetch thousands, with Melbourne Aquarium in Australia paying AUS$100,000 (£57,400) for a specimen in 2005.
Jon Friedman, a wildlife commissioner for the Cape of Good Hope Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), told local media that he was “only able to salvage a few tissue samples” for the museum.
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He said: “The most important parts of the animal that could have given us insight into aspects of the animal’s age, diet and cause of death have already been removed by fishermen and trophy hunters.”
From what she saw, Ali assumed the giant squid had died after being “hit by a boat propeller.”
Jon agreed, saying: “As for the cause of her death, I would say that she was most likely hit by a ship while she was at the surface of the sea.
“From the condition of the internal organs left behind, I would say the animal appeared to be in good health, her stomach was full and she was only about two years old.”