Following the frilled shark and the goblin shark, another deep-sea creature has been caught, this time a colossal squid off the coast of New Zealand.

A fishing crew has caught a colossal squid that could weigh a half-ton and prove to be the biggest specimen ever landed, a fisheries official said Thursday.

The squid, weighing an estimated 990 lbs and about 39 feet long, took two hours to land in Antarctic waters, New Zealand Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton said.

The fishermen were catching Patagonian toothfish, sold under the name Chilean sea bass, south of New Zealand "and the squid was eating a hooked toothfish when it was hauled from the deep," Anderton said.

… Colossal squid, known by the scientific name Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, are estimated to grow up to 46 feet long and have long been one of the most mysterious creatures of the deep ocean.

…Colossal squid can descend to 6,500 feet and are extremely active, aggressive hunters, he said.

The frozen squid will be transported to New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa, in the capital, Wellington, to be preserved for scientific study.
It's not totally unusual—unlike the frilled and goblin sharks—for the colossal squid to come so close to the surface, but one was only filmed for the first time last September, and the one just caught could exceed the next largest specimen ever found by as much as 330 pounds.

You know, if I'm honest, I don't really care all that much about space travel. On the other hand, every time I see something from the bottom of the sea, I go completely geek-happy for hours reading everything I can about it. I'd chuck the space program for a comprehensive deep sea program in a heartbeat.

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