OMG Its A Monster From the Deep…Or It’s A Colossal Squid

A Russian trawler for Patagonian Toothfish, probably in the Antarctic Seas, caught video of a Colossal Squid.  The squid, Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, was feeding on one of longlined toothfish.  Some news outlets seem to be suggesting this is giant squid (and hereand here). However, the body shape and size is clearly all wrong for that assumption.  The tentacles are short and stubby, the mantle is shortened but of considerable girth, and the fins are large and tear dropped shaped–all consistent with Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni.  Note the color changes from red while munching on the fish and then shifts to white.

<sarcasm> Of course the Colossal Squid is a terrifying monster from the black, evil depths from the depths of the dark abyss.  They consume humans whole and terrorize babies.  If they don’t eat you, they steal will your soul and commit unthinkable acts with it. </sarcasm>

On another side note, I also find it interesting that some of news pieces include a quote from me.  None of these reporters have actually spoken with me rather they are quote mining from a press release from back in February.  Peculiar.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. 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. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. 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.

3 Replies to “OMG Its A Monster From the Deep…Or It’s A Colossal Squid”

    1. That was great! Maybe not quite the Jules Verne version, but still. I second Mary’s comment: I was very happy to see that they did not try to harm this squid.

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