Quantcast

Giant Squid Could Be Longer Than a School Bus

Animals

The giant squid is an elusive and mysterious animal that scientists are trying to learn more about. One statistical ecologist has made an attempt to estimate the range in size of these deep-sea creatures, but others don't agree with the findings.

The largest giant squid ever found measured 59 feet long and weighed almost a ton, according to National Geographic. But other than information gathered through spottings or dead squids that have washed ashore, scientists know little about this animal's size and lifestyle.

Charles Paxton, a statistical ecologist at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, took a stab in the dark and estimated how large these creatures can get. Paxton used data gathered over the past century on length and dimensions of the sighted squids and, through statistical analysis, estimated that this species could range from 19 to 90 feet in length.

He settled on 66 feet long as a good bet. School buses are usually 45 feet long.

“I knew that there were bona fide squid longer than what the experts said," Paxton told National Geographic.

Though there is no evidence to prove Paxton wrong, there also isn't enough evidence, others say, to prove him right.

Steve O'Shea, a giant squid expert, is one of the non-believers. National Geographic explains:

And O'Shea asserts that if exceptionally large giant squids did exist, their beaks probably would have been found at some point, either from sperm whale stomachs or seabed sampling. None of that size have been found, however.
“Large beaks belonging to large Architeuthis do not exist because the squid do not exist!" wrote O'Shea, who characterized Paxton's analysis as “complete nonsense, verging on literature pollution."

Other scientists question the data Paxton collected. Giant squid sightings are scattered and don't have a uniform style of record keeping. Measurements could have been taken after "postmortem stretching or shrinking" occurred or after parts of the quid were cut off.

The only real way to prove Paxton wrong or right is to find that 66-foot long squid.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

NOAA: World's Largest Sponge Is as Big as a Minivan

Scientists Uncover Array of Strange Animals in Cave That Has Been Sealed Off for 5.5 Million Years

First New Butterfly Species Found in Alaska in 28 Years: Is it an Ancient Hybrid?

Volcano Grows New Island Off Japanese Coast

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Natural Resources Defense Council

By Emily Deanne

Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.

Read More Show Less
Kokia drynarioides, commonly known as Hawaiian tree cotton, is a critically endangered species of flowering plant that is endemic to the Big Island of Hawaii. David Eickhoff / Wikipedia

By Lorraine Chow

Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Frederick Bass / Getty Images

States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of lava flows from the eruption of volcano Kilauea on Hawaii, May 2018. Frizi / iStock / Getty Images

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
A couple works in their organic garden. kupicoo / E+ / Getty Images

By Kristin Ohlson

From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A competitor in action during the Drambuie World Ice Golf Championships in Uummannaq, Greenland on April 9, 2001. Michael Steele / Allsport / Getty Images

Greenland is open for business, but it's not for sale, Greenland's foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters after hearing that President Donald Trump asked his advisers about the feasibility of buying the world's largest island.

Read More Show Less
AFP / Getty Images / S. Platt

Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.

Read More Show Less
Newly established oil palm plantation in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay

By Hans Nicholas Jong

Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.

It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."

Read More Show Less