Scientists at Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand’s national museum, have begun dissection of a colossal female squid this week, already the finds are worth documenting. The largest squid ever captured, is providing scientist with astounding insight into this mysterious creature of the deep. The first noticeable wonder on the over 1,000 pound squid was her eyes. Measuring in at 10.6 inches, just about equal to the size of a soccer ball, they are the largest eyeballs ever recorded for any known animal.

Perhaps the most fascinating thing learned thus far are two rows of bio-luminescent organs, called photophores, located under each eye. Scientists state that the “lights”  are used to mask the squids attack of its prey. All the future meal would see was these small lights coming at it, due to the depth of over 3,000 feet; the lights would shield the squid from sight until it was too late. One problem comes from eating at such depths, most things consumed likely “glow” as well. But the colossal squid has a solution to keep its tummy from becoming a neon sign pointing out its location. The squids mantle (head) is filled with deep dark red pigment that shields any predators or prey from seeing anything within its stomach that might be sending out a glowing warning.

As fish numbers increase in the antarctic so do accidental catching of colossal squid, leaving scientists with the want to set up some form of conservation efforts to protect these mysterious creatures from becoming endangered or worse.

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