| This giant squid called Architeuthis dux and measuring 30 feet long washed ashore in the Spanish community of Cantabria on Oct. 1, 2013.
Credit: Enrique Talledo, www.enriquetalledo.com
Updated at 7:23 p.m. ET.
A giant squid, whose oversized eyes and gargantuan blob of a body make it look more mythical than real beast, washed ashore Tuesday (Oct. 1) at La Arena beach in the Spanish community of Cantabria.
The beast measures some 30 feet (9 meters) in length and weighs a whopping 400 pounds (180 kilograms); and according to news reports, it is a specimen of Architeuthis dux, the largest invertebrate (animals without backbones) on Earth.
The giant squid is currently at the Maritime Museum of Cantabria, according to El Diario Montanes.
Perhaps fortuitously, an underwater photographer happened to be in the area at precisely the time the squid washed ashore. “I felt privileged to be among a few, these animals rarely can be seen, because they live at great depths and very few appear on the coast dead,” Enrique Talledo told LiveScience in an email. “Its appearance is similar to a sea monster, well-adapted to life in the depths.”
Tsunemi Kubodera, a zoologist at Japan’s Science Museum in Tokyo, and his colleagues, captured the first live footage of an Architeuthis giant squid in its habitat in 2012. The video revealed the elusive creature off the Ogasawara Islands, about 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) south of Tokyo at a depth of around 2,066 feet (630 m); the three-man crew aboard a submersible followed the giant squid down to 2,950 feet (900 m). [See Amazing Photos of Giant Squid]