The Squid Files

From the deep waters of Antarctica to star attraction at Te Papa, the colossal squid has been on a long and incredible journey.

In February 2007, the crew of the San Aspiring get the surprise of their lives when they haul up a huge colossal squid on the end of a longline.

A year later, the squid attracts intense worldwide interest as scientists start to examine it.

Find out more through articles, images, and videos.

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How big is the
colossal squid?

Size matters, so everyone wanted to know how big the biggest invertebrate actually is ... read more

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Colossal squid
specimens at Te Papa

Te Papa has several colossal squid in the collection. The largest and most complete specimen was examined in April 2008 and is now on display ... read more

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Planning the big event

The colossal squid had caught the public's interest!
Planning for an event at Te Papa in which the public could view and engage in the thaw and preservation of the squid now got underway ... read more

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Catching the
colossal squid

The colossal squid is caught and is
gifted to Te Papa ... read more

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Meet the colossal
squid team

A team of international scientists gathered at Te Papa to examine the colossal squid in April 2008 ... read more

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Preserving the squid

After the colossal squid had been thawed, it had to be stored in a liquid preservative to stop the tissues rotting ... read more

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The thaw

The first thing the team had to do before they could examine the colossal squid was to thaw it out ... read more