A GIANT squid found washed up on Seven Mile Beach yesterday was “an exciting find,” according to marine researcher Kim Tetley.
“It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever come across on a beach,” he said of the squid, that he estimated to be 10 metres long.
“One of its legs is at least six metres long,” Mr Tetley said.
The creature, that Mr Tetley believed would have lived in the depths of the sea thousands of metres below the surface, washed up on the beach just south of Gerroa.
“It’s very rare to see something like this on the shore,” he said.
The discovery has generated plenty of interest and excitement in the scientific community with NSW Fisheries from Cronulla and the Sydney Museum both keen to examine the squid.
He said they wanted to work out its age, and also examine the contents of its stomach to see what it had been eating.
However Mr Tetley said the remains had been badly damaged during a few weeks in the water since the squid died.
“There are marks all over it where different things had had a nibble, or even big bites,” he said.
“The head part of it looks like it’s been ripped apart and turned inside out.”
However the squid nearly returned to the water yesterday.
Mr Tetley had to rescue the creature from the surf, and then had to drag it 20 metres up the beach to ensure it was not washed away by waves or the tide.
“I’ve never been sent to the beach for something like this before.”
Based in Albion Park, Mr Tetley was contacted about the find by head of the Shoalhaven Freshwater and Marine Research Centre, Pia Winberg.