In the late 19th century, there are several instances where near the rocky island of Newfoundland, in northeastern Canada, have seen huge squid.
Researcher Henry Lee has collected several similar reports. One of them was published in March 1875 in the journal American Journal of Science and Arts.
According to this information, Professor Veril personally reports that since 1870, several huge squid, measuring 30 to 52 feet (9-15 meters) in size, have been observed near Newfoundland.
In particular, one of the squid was found floating dead on the surface of the water near the Grand Bank. Captain Campbell, with schooner BD Hoskins, spotted it in October 1871.
This squid was raised aboard the schooner and parts of it’s body were used as bait for fish. It’s body was 15 feet (4.5 meters) plus tentacles 10 feet (3 meters) long. The beak was cut and sent for testing at the Smithsonian Institution.
Another squid described in the same article was found still alive but stuck in the shallow waters of Fortuna Bay in 1872. It was extracted ashore, and when the researchers began to make their measurements, the creature died.
The body of this squid was 10 feet (3 meters) long, and the tentacles had a colossal length of 42 feet (12 meters). The suction cups on the tentacles were firm and had “serrated” edges.
Another huge squid was also caught in Bonavista Bay. Its length is not stated, but it is reported that its large beak and a few tentacles have been sent for study at the Smithsonian.
On September 22, 1877, another giant squid was spotted in the shallow waters of Catalina, on the north shore of Trinity Bay, near Newfoundland. It was still alive when the fishermen saw it, but when the tide came, the squid found itself on the shore and died soon after.
Two fishermen dragged the squid into the village. All the inhabitants were amazed at its appearance and its enormous size. It was first decided to cut it into pieces and feed the dogs, but a man advised the fishermen to take the creature to the nearest town of St. John’s.
The fishermen did this and the squid’s body was covered with ice and brought into the city. At first, they wanted to sell it to the same Professor Veril, but the deal fell through. After all, squid was auctioned off at the New York Aquarium.
On October 7, 1877, the squid’s body was transferred to New York City and placed in a large glass tank filled with special liquid to preserve it from decomposing. There, it was finally measured for the first time: the squid’s body was 3 meters long, plus the length of the tentacles – 9 meters. One of the tentacles was counting 250 suction pumps.
Henry Lee was very excited about this unusual series of events when, for 7 years, these rare marine animals were caught several times in the same area of Canada. He suggested that the squid may have been attracted by the remains of small fish caught in the nets of cod fishermen.
This version has not been confirmed. Lee realized that giant squid, during those same years, were often seen elsewhere on the planet. Including Japan, in 1873, a huge squid was caught and sold on the Edo fish market.
In 1874, a giant squid was dumped on a beach on St. Paul’s Island, Alaska. Together with the tentacles, it reached a length of 23 feet (7 meters).
In April 1875, a huge squid was seen in the water off the west coast of Ireland. The squid seemed dead and lying still, swaying in the waves. But when the fishermen swam to him and cut off one of his tentacles, the squid trembled and then quickly sailed out to sea.
The fishermen tried to catch it but had to chase it for sbout 5 miles before finally reaching it and killing it. The remains of it’s tentacles can be seen in the Dublin Museum.
Why in those years there were so many cases of giant squid in shallow waters or near the shore, no one has understood.
Nowadays, such large squids are extremely rare.