Cool Facts

What DO we know?

  • They’re huge! Giant squid, the world’s largest invertebrates, reach up to 60 feet in length and weigh 1,000 lb. or more.
  • They have the world’s largest eyes! Giant squid eyes are as big as a human head.
  • They’re fast growing! Giant squid may grow as much as 25 feet in their first year.
  • They’re denizens of the deep! Giant squid live at a depth of between 650 and 2,600 feet.
  • They’re true blue bloods! All squids have clear blue blood, based on copper rather than iron.
  • They’re lousy hors d’oeuvres! Instead of saline, a giant squid’s muscles are filled with ammonia.
  • They’re tough! Large sucker marks found on sperm whales, the adult giant squid’s only predator, prove that although they often lose the battle, giant squid don’t give up without a fight.

What DON’T we know?

  • How long do giant squid live?
  • How fast can they swim?
  • How do they capture their prey?
  • How do they mate?
  • Do they live in groups?
  • How can whales find them, when scientists can’t?
Smithsonian Teuthologist Dr. Clyde F.E. Roper.
Photo by Chip Clark