Massive kraken washed ashore in South Africa

A 14-foot giant squid turned up on Scarborough Beach in Cape Town, South Africa. It was the second massive kraken to wash ashore in the area this year. From LiveScience:

Without an examination of its internal organs, it's difficult to guess how the Scarborough Beach squid perished, [US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration zoologist Mike] Vecchione said. "Note that most of the skin has abraded and some of the arms are broken off, but this (especially the skin abrasion) can result from washing up on the rocky shore." The remaining skin on the squid's mantle — the muscular sheath that houses its organs — gleamed ghostly white in the sun. 

It may be that the squid ventured into shallow, near-shore waters to feed and got struck by a ship propeller, "but this is difficult to prove without witnesses," Dylan Clarke, a marine scientist and curator at Iziko South African Museum, told news24. "The literature … suggests that they come up into shallower waters because they display a behaviour called diel vertical migration. In other words, they venture into shallower waters during the evening to feed and migrate back to deeper waters during the day."[…]

Researchers collected tissue samples from the beast's body to conduct DNA and chemical analyses to detect pollutants from the water and gain insight into the squid's diet.

image: Daniel Eskridge/Shutterstock