Colossal squid is as long as a minibus!
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It was a calm morning in Antarctica's Ross Sea. That's during the season when the sun never sets. Capt. John Bennett and his crew hauled up a creature with tentacles like fire hoses and eyes like dinner plates. It came from a mile below the surface.
It was a squid that weighed 770 pounds. It was as long as a minibus. Until Tuesday, it had been frozen for eight months. That's when scientists in New Zealand got a chance to inspect it. They used a forklift to put it into a tank.
The squid is a female. Its eight arms are each nearly 3 and a half feet long. Its two tentacles might have been double that length if they had not been damaged.
Kat Bolstad, a squid scientist, described it as "very big, very beautiful."
"This is essentially an intact specimen," she said. "This is a spectacular opportunity."
Many people around the world agreed. About 142,000 watched the squid examination on the Internet.
Colossal squid have rarely been seen in daylight. Remarkably, Bennett and his crew have caught two. Their first was hauled in seven years ago. Now it is on display in New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa.
Bennett said he thought he had better save the latest one for research.
"It's quite an awesome sight," he said.