Wellington Travel Blog

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The COLOSSAL squid in its display case at Te Papa Museum.
Windy Wellington.  No one warned me about this.  Windy and cold and bitter.  And it was summer.  This called for an indoor kind of tourist adventure so we headed for the national museum, Te Papa.  I had heard of its newest addition of the world's only COLOSSAL squid on public display.

They can't even use the word 'giant'.  No, COLOSSAL was simply much more appropriate.  Plus, it seems to roll off the tongue nicer than 'giant squid'.  Just say it one more time: COLOSSAL squid.  I can't even type it without capitalizing the entire word.  It just seems more appropriate this way.

Well, COLOSSAL indeed.  That sucker was massive, gargantuan even.  The specimen was preserved in a specially designed tank allowing for visitors to view the squid from above, as though it were lying on a table (but under glass).  Its red skin (yes, RED) had flaked off in most places, apparently part of the preserving process.  Next to the display case was a video explaining how the COLOSSAL squid was captured and preserved.

A commercial fishing ship was deep sea fishing.  When they pulled up one of their deep fishing lines, they discovered this COLOSSAL squid hanging on to the end.  It was eating the large fish caught by the fishermen, and for some reason the squid didn't let go of its meal when it started to ascend.  Maybe the squid got caught on the line; the fishermen didn't know.  What the footage did show was that the squid was actually still alive!  Despite the incredible decrease in pressure, the creature was still alive, although only barely.  

I must have watched that video loop four times over.  I just couldn't get over seeing that footage of the COLOSSAL squid still alive.  Its enormous tentacles were slithering around the huge fishing machinery.  And it was completely crimson red.    

Crazy the things mother nature still has hidden away in the depths of the sea.  According to the video, scientists were disappointed to discover that the specimen was female.  Apparently, a male COLOSSAL squid has yet to be discovered and scientists wonder if the male is even larger than the female specimens found to date.  Unreal.
shirlan says:
The daily weather forecast for Wellington is "Four seasons in one day!"
Posted on: Feb 27, 2009
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The COLOSSAL squid in its display …
The COLOSSAL squid in its display…
photo by: Ils1976