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Giant Squid Caught: Rare Species Snagged Off Irish Coast

Image: Giant Squid Caught: Rare Species Snagged Off Irish Coast

The Dingle Peninsula is pictured from the village of Ballyferriter in western Ireland, on May 22, 2016. (Paulo Nunes Dos Santos/AFP/Getty Images)

By Jen Krausz   |   Thursday, 18 May 2017 05:16 AM

Fishermen caught a 19-foot-long giant squid off the coast of Ireland on Monday, only the fifth to be seen there since 1673.

The giant squid ended up in the trawl net of Peter Flannery’s boat Cu na Mara off the coast of Dingle, County Kerry on Monday, according to the BBC. It is the first catch of a giant squid in 22 years.

Flannery’s father caught two other giant squid in 1995, meaning the Flannery family has caught 60 percent of all the giant squid in Ireland over more than 400 years, the BBC noted.

Marine biologist Kevin Flannery (no relation) told the BBC the catch was “rare” and “unusual,” and called giant squid “legends of the sea.”

Kevin Flannery is director of the Natural History Museum in Dublin, where the squid will be brought for study and possibly display, TheJournal.ie reported.

The squid can be recognized by its beak, which looks like a parrot’s beak and can bite and inject venom, and bones that look like plastic, Kevin Flannery told the website. Giant squid can be harmful to humans with claw-like nails ad suction cups on their tentacles, he added. Giant squid also can release ink to confuse predators and make it difficult for them to see in the water.

Giant squid are also known as Kraken, made famous by Disney’s "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies, noted the Irish Times. The area where the squid was captured is on the edge of a shelf that drops down more than a mile to the bottom of the ocean.

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Fishermen caught a 19-foot-long giant squid off the coast of Ireland on Monday, only the fifth to be seen there since 1673.
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2017-16-18
 

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