How to Capture a Giant Squid

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For fishermen, size matters. And if you really, really want a catch to brag about, you’re going to need to snag a giant squid. They can top four stories in length and weigh 600 pounds. Despite being one of the largest critters in the sea, they're nearly impossible to find. It took scientists years to finally snap a photo of Architeuthis dux alive in its natural environment, before they finally pulled it off in 2004. Get your hands on one, and you’ll have a tale that earns you a free beer in any sailors’ bar in the world.

1) Visit Newfoundland

Giant squid have been washing up on the East Coast for centuries, with many crashing ashore near Newfoundland. If you’re not keen on visiting Canada, the squids seem to prefer temperate waters, avoiding the tropics and the poles, with the Gulf of Mexico and Chichi Island near Japan also proving to be hotspots.

2) Follow That Whale

Bring out your inner Ahab and go on a quest for a great whale. The sperm whale is the giant squid's mortal enemy—where there are whales, there may be squid. If you can, check the whale’s face for battle scars. Pockmarks are telltale signs that it tussled with a squid. (The behemoth’s suction cups are lined with dozens of barbed teeth.)

3) See the Light

In 2012, a scientist used a light-up glass orb to capture the massive cephalopod. Dropped into the ocean and tethered to a 2000-foot long rope, the orb mimicked the atolla jellyfish, which puts on a blue light show when attacked. The bioluminescent bait proved to attract all sorts of squid, and it helped Widder snap five pictures of the giant.

4) Hush!

Even though they’re enormous, squids are still skittish, and submersibles with buzzing hydraulic engines may scare them off. But with silent electric thrusters, you can sneak up on them. That’s how a squid expert caught some impressive HD shots in 2012. And when you’ve finally captured the giant squid, move up a level and search for its even larger cousin, the Colossal Squid.

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Well, if the promise of the world’s biggest calamari doesn’t make you salivate, maybe the promise of a cold refreshing beer will? Just set your course for the closest fridge and crack open a Dos Equis.

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August 15, 2013 - 8:00am
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