The largest mollusk in the world

The giant squid is the largest mollusk in the world. It can reach almost 20 m and weigh between 150 and 350 kg. They inhabit most of the oceans, except in the tropical and arctic areas, and there are many of them in Japanese waters.

These squids are not usually on the surface or on the coasts, they prefer the depths. It is very difficult to see a giant squid in its natural habitat, in most of the captures the animal is lifeless.

Because they are so large and little known, giant squid generate a lot of curiosity and have also become famous in stories and legends.

Fun facts

  • Although the giant squid has 8 arms, it is its two tentacles that are used to capture its prey.
  • The tentacles are exaggeratedly long, each one has suckers and a ring of teeth that dig into the victim’s skin. They can be up to six times as long as the mantle, or the long part above the head.
  • The giant squid has huge eyes that can measure up to 25 cm in diameter.
  • These squid eat fish smaller than themselves, crustaceans and other squid.
  • Due to its large size, this type of squid has few enemies. Sperm whales are known to eat giant squid because squid beaks have been found in their stomachs.
  • They move thanks to a part of their body called a siphon, which is a kind of jet propulsion system. The fins that are on the mantle help them stabilize.
  • Although out of the water these squid are very heavy, in the water they float without difficulty because their muscles have many ammonium ions, an element that is lighter than sea water.