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Release the Kraken? Ginormous Squid Washes Up on Spanish Beach

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They are the stuff of Norse and Greek legends, but now Spain has its own claim on the mythology of sea monsters.

Last week, a giant squid washed up on La Arena beach in Cantabria, according to a report on the web site LiveScience. How giant, you ask? Try 30-feet-long giant.

Beachcombers were perhaps too taken aback to start making “Release the Kraken!” jokes right off the bat. Weighing in at about 400 pounds, the (expired) critter appears to be a specimen of Architeuthis dux, considered to be the largest invertebrate on Earth.  These squid also have the biggest eyes—sometimes as large as a human head. (Try not to think about that next time you wade into the ocean.)

Swimmers have very little reason to worry, of course. The modern day kraken are such a rare sight in part because they tend to live so far from the coastline. Last year, Japanese zoologists  located a live Architeuthis dux, but they had to go 620 miles south of Tokyo to find him, and they tracked him down to 2,950 feet below the surface.

Thankfully, this latest discovery in Spain does not mean a huge uptick in calamari specials at the local tapas bars. According to the report, the giant squid is currently at the Maritime Museum of Cantabria.

Photo credit: Alan Douglas / Alamy

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