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PHOTOS: This Human-Sized Clubhook Squid Washed Up on the Aleutian Islands

Go to the right beach at the right time, and you might find hundreds of delicate seashells. Or, you know, a robust clubhook squid the size of a human.


Go to the right beach at the right time, and you might find hundreds of delicate seashells. Or, you know, a clubhook squid corpse the size of a human.

 

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This huge squid washed up last week on the shore of Unalaska, the largest city in the Aleutian Islands, the long archipelago that hangs off Alaska like a tail.

The coral-colored cephalopod is a robust clubhook squid (or Moroteuthis robusta), named for the hooks lining the club-like ends of its tentacles. (Squids have eight arms and two longer tentacles.)

Because this species lives deep underwater, scientists don't know much about it. Most of what they've learned has come from dead squid brought up in fishing trawlers as accidental bycatch.

 

The Alaska Sea Grant's Melissa Delman Good shared several photos of the washed-up clubhook squid on Facebook, calling the specimen a "rare beach find."

 

"M. robusta has a distribution range from southern California throughout the Aleutian Islands and into the Bering Sea," she wrote. "These squid are generally found deeper than 500 meters and are fed upon by sperm whales and other toothed whales. What a great find!"

 

Luckily, Good took these photos when she did, because two days later, the squid had disappeared, likely eaten by local foxes and eagles.

No use letting good seafood go to waste.

 

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Illustration by Fabio Manucci

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