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Rare sight of 13-foot-long giant squid stuns tourists on New Zealand beach

The half-eaten body of a Giant squid in New Zealand created a stir among the tourists and scientists (Pic. Courtesy livescience.com)

In what can be described as a once in a lifetime opportunity, a group of tourists were stunned to see a giant squid’s half-eaten body on a New Zealand beach. As per the livescience.com report this squid species is one the evasive and striking creatures which lives in deep waters.

The huge creature measuring 13 feet including the mantle was found on September 9 at the beach of a nature reserve in north of South Island called Farewell Spit. The half-buried body of the squid was spotted by a Farewell Spit Tours’ guide who alerted a group of tourists who in turn became absorbed in the creature and snapped several pictures.

The guide Anton Donaldson talking to The New Zealand Herald said: “It’s not a common find on any beach, so if you’re able to be there at the right time, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” He went on to add that it was also sobering to see such a “magnificent example of a large sea creature” dead on the land.

Second to the colossal squids, these creatures are the largest ones and can grow up to 43 feet and are found in the oceans at a depth of more than 2,950 feet and thus sighted very rarely.

In the case of the dead squid discovered on the beach it is not clear what its length is since most of its tentacles were not intact or buried beneath the sand.

Recalling the creature Donaldson said: “It looked like [the tentacles] had been chewed back by some other sea creatures, such as small sharks or fish. While I don’t know for sure, I imagine it had been floating out there for a period of time and had washed up.”

The Farewell Spits Tours got in touch with the Department of Conservation of New Zealand regarding the squid which will try to recover the remains to study it.

Looking at this evasive creature may be a rare opportunity but earlier too remains of these giants have been found at the Farewell Spit. During the last 30 years at least six of these have reached the shores. A tour group in 2019 spied a complete giant squid which measured 18 feet.

Apart from New Zealand, in April this year, a 11.5-foot-long dead giant squid washed up near Kommetjie in South Africa while another measuring 14 foot was found in the same country on a beach near Cape Town in August.