One of the most elusive creatures of the deep ocean was found floating on the surface off the coast of southeastern Australia.
The chance encounter was afforded to a fishing columnist with the Australian publication the Daily Telegraph.
Al McGlashan, author of The Fishing Bible and an avid fisherman, was amazed that he happened to see the giant squid which has long been part of fishing lore.
"In all my time of fishing, I've never seen calamari rings so big," he said. "It was massive."
McGlashan understood the significance of seeing the squid even though it was dead because there has been no documentation of an actual live squid.
"They're sort of one of those mythical things … you hear those stories about ancient mariners getting attacked in their boat ... and you only hear about the very occasional one being washed up down in Tassie."
Australian Museum squid specialist Mandy Reid explained that the squid can grow to length of up to 40 feet and- judging from the bright color of the squid- guessed that it had recently died.
Reid stated that for the squid to be floating on the surface missing parts of it tentacles that it had been attacked by a sperm whale or had died at the end of its short life.
"Most squid only live for a year, they grow extremely quickly, but there is also a chance that it has been attacked by a sperm whale," Reid said. "Sperm whales are far bigger, heavier and faster in the water, the giant squid are quite slow, so the whale generally wins."
As McGlashan was observing the squid, a shark had already started dining on his free meal
"It hoed into the squid straight away and didn't care a bit that it was right next to us; it was taking great chunks out of the squid in one bite," McGlashan said. "It goes to show not much goes to waste in the natural world. Everything gets recycled somehow."