Enormous squid have fascinated humankind since some of our earliest recorded seafaring days (see: the myth of the Kraken). But it is still rare that we get to see such elusive, majestic creatures up close. Now, anyone with access to YouTube can see what a 770-pound colossal squid (heavier and shorter than the confusingly similarly named "giant squid," but actually a different species) looks like inside and out. Scientists at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and their colleagues from the Auckland University of Technology performed a dissection of an extremely well-persevered dead colossal squid on camera yesterday, cutting into select parts, including its beak and mantle. What they found did not disappoint them.
The dissection was live streamed as it occurred, and the resulting recording is now available it its full three-and-a-half-hour long gory glory (the actual stream begins at 06:57 into the video). Te Papa museum already has one colossal squid on display — the most in-tact sample ever recovered — but scientists specifically avoided carving that one up too much to preserve it for public viewings. Not so with this colossal squid, which first discovered nearly a year ago by fishermen in Antarctica's Ross Sea. See highlights from the examination tweeted by Te Papa's official Twitter account: