Fishermen Find Huge, Super Creepy Squid Floating In Hawaiian Waters
"It looked like it could easily bite off a hand."
Chris D'AngeloAssociate Editor, HuffPost Hawaii
MATHEW FOWLERManny Billegas II, Cyrus Widhalm and Ian MacKelvie are pictured with the dead squid.
It wasn't exactly the catch they expected to bring home.
Last week, a group of fishermen off the coast of Hawaii's Big Island stumbled across a 7-foot-long squid floating dead on the ocean surface.
“It had clearly been attacked by something, because there was a bite mark in the head and several of the tentacles were missing," Cyrus Widhalm, who caught the squid and is owner of Kona Sea Adventures, told local news station KHON2.
MATHEW FOWLERThe squid measured approximately 7 feet in length and weighed about 52 pounds.
Widhalm told The Huffington Post that he was captaining a charter on Oct. 1 outside Keauhou Bay, south of Kailua-Kona, when one of his guests spotted the strange, motionless animal.
"I think the most astounding thing were the eyes and beak," Widhalm said. "The eyes were about the size of tennis balls, and the beak was the size of a large dog's mouth. It looked like it could easily bite off a hand."
After investigating the find, Widhalm called a local marine biologist, who recommended the crew bring the squid back to shore. Getting the animal into the boat, however, proved challenging.
"It was very slippery to hold and quite unwieldy due to the size," Widhalm said. "It was 7 feet long but when we weighed it, the entire animal was able to fit into a 5-gallon bucket."
The squid reportedly weighed 52 pounds.
MATHEW FOWLERThe squid is pictured inside Cyrus Widhalm's 34-foot fishing boat, Ahi Lani.
The experience was a first for Wildhalm, a long-time waterman.
"I have never found a fully intact giant squid," he wrote in an email. "I was just speaking to a friend involved in the process and she said there have been very few specimens recorded."
The squid is being sent to the National Marine Mammal Lab of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, in Seattle, Washington, for further examination, according to Widhalm. The marine biologist he consulted told him the squid looked like Megalocranchia fisheri, a species of glass squid.
Asked by Newsweek if he considered saving the animal for dinner, Widhalm laughed.
"They are edible, but it seems like it would better serve as a research tool," he said.