Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Giant Squid Could Be Longer Than a School Bus

Science
Giant Squid Could Be Longer Than a School Bus

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

A late snowfall could set back the growth of this budding lilac. oddharmonic / Flickr, CC BY-SA

By Richard B. Primack

Weather patterns across the U.S. have felt like a roller coaster ride for the past several months. December and January were significantly warmer than average in many locations, followed by February's intense cold wave and a dramatic warmup.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A majority of America's dams require billions of dollars in upgrades for them to handle heavier precipitation. skibreck / Getty Images

By Jeff Masters

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave America's infrastructure a C- grade in its quadrennial assessment issued March 3. ASCE gave the nation's flood control infrastructure – dams and levees – a D grade. This is a highly concerning assessment, given that climate change is increasingly stressing dams and levees as increased evaporation from the oceans drives heavier precipitation events.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Alex Wong / Getty Images

By Jacob Carter

On Wednesday, the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced that it will be rescinding secretarial order 3369, which sidelined scientific research and its use in the agency's decisions. Put in place by the previous administration, the secretarial order restricted decisionmakers at the DOI from using scientific studies that did not make all data publicly available.

Read More Show Less
Producing avocado and almond crops is having a detrimental effect on bees. Molly Aaker / Getty Images

At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.

Read More Show Less
An electric vehicle is plugged in to an EV charging station at a Walmart parking lot in Duarte, California on Sept. 14, 2018. FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP via Getty Images

Six major U.S. electricity utilities will collaborate to build a massive EV charging network across 16 states, they announced Tuesday.

Read More Show Less