A monster abruptly ascends from the sea, snatches the boat, and drags the sailors down to a watery grave. This story line provides the plot for legends that have persisted through the ages. But do monsters that large actually exist? In 2007 a colossal squid was by chance caught by fishermen in the Ross Sea off Antarctica. It was almost 33 feet long, including its tentacles, and it weighed over 500 kg, (1,000 pounds approximately). Researchers believe that this species of squid can grow even larger. An identical sea monster recognized as the giant squid has a torpedo-shaped body, eyes that can be as big as a human head, a parrot like beak strong enough to cut a steel cable, eight arms with rows of suckers, and two long tentacles that bring food to its mouth. It can propel itself through the water at 20 miles an hour and even launch itself into the air. Less than 50 sightings of such giants have been informed in the last century, and these creatures have never been studied in the wild.
Gigantic Whales of the Sea
Colossal and giant squids, however, are just a meal for an even larger animal, the sperm whale, which can grow to about 60 feet in length and weigh as much as 50 tons. One tooth alone weighs two pounds! Dead sperm whales have been found with portions of giant squid in their stomach. These whales also had circular scars from squid suckers on their massive, blunt heads, showing that the squid put up a hard fight. In 1965 the crew of a Soviet whaleboat claimed to have seen a battle among a giant squid and a 40-ton sperm whale. Neither survived the strangled whale was found afloat in the sea, with the head of the squid in its stomach. Enormous indeed are the massive squid and the sperm whale, yet the blue whale, the largest mammal, surpasses them in size. The longest blue whale on record was a 108-foot adult female caught in Antarctica. The blue whale might weigh as much as 150 tons. The weight of its tongue alone is equivalent to that of an adult elephant! And just visualize it gives birth to a three-ton calf that is 23 to 27 feet long, hunted by whalers, the blue whale became almost extinct by the 1960’s and nowadays is classified as a critically endangered species.
The Ferocious and the Gentle
With its 3,000 formidable teeth, the giant white shark is maybe the scariest carnivorous fish. The biggest great white on record was 23 feet long and weighed 7,000 pounds. This shark has an astonishing sense of smell, being capable to detect one drop of blood diluted in 25 gallons of water. The whale shark is the biggest of living fish, averaging some 25 feet in length. Though, some can reach closely twice that size. Its mouth can be up to 4 feet wide, with no trouble to capable of swallowing a man. But far from being a fierce predator of other large sea creatures, this gentle giant feeds on tiny plankton and small fish. The whale shark’s uncommon digestive anatomy, reported in National Geographic magazine, lends itself to Jonah stories,” referring to the Biblical/Quran Majeed incident about the prophet Hazrat Younis (A.S) being swallowed by a great fish. Whale sharks have “a peaceful way of getting rid of large objects of uncertain digestibility they swallow accidental.