The giant squid, still little known and surrounded by mysteries, remains a fascinating animal for both the general public and scientists.
The mention of legendary sea monsters in ancient texts dates back to the mists of time. In ancient times, Homer confronts the great navigator Ulysses with Scylla, a creature whose description could be that of an animal close to the giant squid. Pliny the Elder, a first century Roman naturalist writer, reported the testimony of fishermen describing a real giant squid washed up on the coast of Malaga.
The legend of a sea monster lasted centuries. In the Middle Ages it was shown with the Kraken, a kind of giant octopus capable of swallowing a whole sailing ship described by the Swedish Bishop Olaus Magnus.
Admittedly, these seafaring peoples, otherwise inclined to superstition, often sailed through rough, hostile and dark seas, where it was not difficult to confuse real beings with strange animals and gigantic creatures.
Confirmation of its real existence
With the capture of large cetaceans, parrot beaks (horny jaws of cephalopods) were found in the stomach of sperm whales, and they were stored in museums. At the same time, giant squid stranded on the coast became the object of study of some researchers. And it is from these samples, in 1857, that the Danish scientist Japetus Steenstrup described the first giant squid which he called Architeuthis dux (the prince of the squid), a name that is still valid today.
Disclosure of the find remains quiet, but numerous strandings, particularly off the coast of Newfoundland in the 1870s, confirmed the real existence of the giant squid.