something is moving… beneath our feet

I wouldn’t normally put such big pics on here, but JESUS CHRIST! That ain’t “normal”! Everyone in our household, and all the adults we’ve shown this to have completely freaked out when they’ve seen it. 4 year olds seem immune and reckon it’s hilarious, which frankly is all for the best… I think. It’s been in our dreams, we’ve been eerily forced to open the paper again and again to look at it…

So what… is it? It’s a colossal squid or Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni. The one in the photo is 17ft high, but they may grow to 49ft. And that freaky eye actually glows to illuminate its surroundings. Looking at the picture, the eyeball must be, what? As wide as my shoulders or something?

Feeling a primal urge to categorise, in my useless nerdy way, I managed to come up with this:

Wacky experimentalists The Residents and Lovecraft’s “blind idiot god” Cthulhu all combined in one easy-to-evacuate-your-bowels-with-fear package.

From what I can remember of the lecture given by Phil Hine and Malchick Nostra at the Scala cinema some years ago, Lovecraft never knew where half his weird shit came from – he would wake up, scared, in the middle of the night and see a pen at the end of his trembling hand, with the latest “work” laid out on the page before him.

Maybe the colossal squid was telling him something, and if not, this has to be the basis of all sorts of horror stories and myths about the deep. (And what else is down there, FFS?!).

The image is from Extreme Nature – Mark Carwardine which is being published by Collins in October.

Sweet Dreams, and careful what brushes against your leg in that bubble bath.


  1. You sceptics are just scared of embracing the god-like existence of the colossal squid! I knew Martin and Anathema would understand, though 😉

  2. The sceptics were back yesterday in the Guardian Weekend letters page (special weekend / Catherine Bailey nude / Karl Lagerfeld issue), pleading, “Come on, the squid was a hoax right??”…oh, the fools!

  3. I know squids of this size exist but this image doesn’t seem real. They’ve found huge squids laying on the beach before but usually they are in horrible shape. These things live at extreme depths and typically the pressure and salinization changes from that depth reck havoc on the creature’s cells. The squid in this image on the other hand is remarkably well formed and seems rather plump (if you’ve seen normal squid out of water they droop — no bones). Plus I have no idea how those two little lines are attached let alone how they would hold up a real squid this size.

  4. the eyes are too yellow most creatures in the ocean are really white and sometimes clears with the pupil and the heads are attached apparently that head is detachable

  5. That isn’t a real squid. The proportions of the body aren’t right, the color isn’t right. But most convincing of all is how it is suspended. Tiny little wires or cords would cause severe distortions in the shape of the body if it were a real squid. Squid have no bones (they have a beak). The rest is soft flesh. If you tried to support it the way this picture shows, the thin wires would either distort the body, or simply tear it apart. Squids are about as heavy as an equivalent volume of water. So, this one would weigh over a ton at least, and perhaps much more. The little wires in the diagram would exert many hundreds of lbs, or even a thousand or more lbs on each attachment point.

    Also, the eye would not be fully open. Squids do have eyelids of a sort and if it were dead and hanging upside down they would be at least slightly closed.

    Its a nice hoax photo, but it doesn’t pass by some simple, critical thinking.

  6. Looking at such an amazing piece of fakery.. I imagine the top of it would probably make a very LARGE.. LAMPSHADE..Or, perhaps a hot air ballon??


  8. Well done to the person who wisely deduced the people in the pic aren’t real fishermen – that’s because we’re not. I am in the pic above, and I took part in this giant squid hoist as part of a delegation of marine biologists. I can assure you that the squid was real, but unfortunately I cannot go into further details regarding its extremely bizarre genetic and biological make-up.

  9. Bill, Bill, Bill..

    after everything that’s happened – and we don’t need to go into it here.. to persist in this fantasy of yours that a couple of fish tanks and a Jacques Cousteau DVD makes you part of a delegation of marine biologists. The others – my esteemed colleagues, your former classmates – are marine biologists. You however are merely a fantasist and an irritation. A sub-aquatic groupie, if you will

    The squid is real, Bill, but you’re not.

  10. I wasn’t aware that Goldsmith’s College had a marine biology department. Unless you count rubbish like Damien Hurst’s shark. The libellous comments against me have been noted.

  11. I so wanted it to be real, but just found this on the Guardian Unlimited website:

    ‘We were misinformed by the publishers of the book from which the image was taken, and have since learned that the squid was in fact a model, built to the dimensions of a submature female specimen. Apologies to all our correspondents’.


  12. Two small points:
    First, it’s a model, but it’s an ACCURATE model,
    so the “suckers!” comments to the effect that “it’s sooooo fake — squid don’t look like that” are just wrong.
    some squid don’t look like that.

    but colossal squid DO look a lot like that.

    underwater, anyway.
    obviously, it would, indeed, collapse and tear if it were really strung up like that.

    Second point: colossal squid, Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, are not the same as the currently newsworthy giant squid, Architeuthis dux.

  13. I think my belief that it was real was really a desire for it to be real, and also my naive trust in the guardian for always telling me the truth. Also, if you saw it in the context of the article that it was in, you might believe it yourself – there were some really weird creatures – a frog with skin enough for an elephant (ok, slight exaggeration), a sea creature that attached itself to the roots of other fishes tonges, and then BECAME THEIR TONGUE, and more such horrors. It was the stuff of nightmares I tell thee.


  15. I hate to rain on your parade but that is definately a fake giant squid, I’ve seen it on numerous sites.
    Just go to google images and you will see Giant Squid and it’s bigger counterpart the Colossal Squid.

  16. Hey i am a 13 year old female who lobes marien biology i may me slightly mentally retarded but i can even tell that that squid was a hoax. I mean come on the mouth is all wrong there should be a beak there and the color is way to bright the giant squids color is more whitish pink than actual pink.

  17. I am 14 and I am doing a project on squids. They don’t need to put “fake” pictures on websites or someone(like me) will print it out and show it to the class. These people are so immature (bill) trying to influence people to believe that this thing is real. like my name, people need to grow up and GET A LIFE!!!!!!!

  18. Like you, ive just seen this in a paper and though OMG ! As you will see from the time this is posted (01.26am GMT)….ive been disturbed by the pic ! It doesnt look real…no way…i mean look at the size of its eye for god sake ! So i am now surfing the net for more info…oh, & like you…ive cut the pic out and stuck it next to my comp !….but if the pic is a fake…would they allow it to go into a nature book? Or am i wrong on that one?… does look a little tooooo pink for my liking, but hey…not all humans are the same shade…are we?!…so i suppose, the colossal squid can be different shades too…right?!


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