Architeuthis Caught In Gulf of Mexico

 NOAA scientists with giant squid aboard the NOAA research vessel Gordon Gunter. (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA scientists with giant squid aboard the NOAA research vessel Gordon Gunter. (Credit: NOAA)

From NOAA…

Scientists from NOAA’s Fisheries Service have captured a giant squid while conducting research off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico. This is only the second known giant squid obtained from the Gulf of Mexico – the first was collected in 1954 off the Mississippi Delta where it was found floating dead at the surface.

This giant squid was collected on July 30, during a 60-day scientific study where scientists from NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center and the Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service were studying the availability and diversity of sperm whale prey. The scientists were aboard the NOAA research vessel Gordon Gunter when the squid was caught in a trawl pulled behind the research vessel at a depth of more than 1,500 feet.

“As the trawl net rose out of the water, I could see that we had something big in there…really big,” said Anthony Martinez, marine mammal scientist for NOAA’s Fisheries Service and chief scientist for this research cruise. “We knew there was a remote possibility of encountering a giant squid on this cruise, but it was not something we were realistically expecting.”

This giant squid was preserved and sent to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum for Natural History for further study. It measures just over 19½ feet long and weighs more than 103 pounds.

Dr. M (1730 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

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3 comments on “Architeuthis Caught In Gulf of Mexico
  1. Pingback: Deep Sea News - Architeuthis Caught - Scuba Blogs - ScubaSpotz

  2. This is awesome. I was lucky enough (for an undergrad) to go out on a research vessel into the gulf this summer for a class. Went out on the R/V Pelican from LUMCON in Louisiana. I really, really enjoyed it and hope to get a chance to go out again in the future somewhere. It’s probably unlikely, but even getting out as the lowest of the low crew would be fine as well.

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