There is a battle raging right now between two of Earth’s greatest titans. Somewhere, in the murky depths of our planet’s final frontier, an intense fight for survival is being waged between the Colossal Squid and the Sperm Whale…
The Colossal Squid:
“In the red corner, weighing in at a massive 495 kg (1,000 lb), reaching an incredible 14 metres (46ft) long, and boasting the largest eyes in the entire animal kingdom, the amazing, the LEGENDARY… Colossal Squuiiiiid!!!”
Thought once to be a creature of myth, the Colossal Squid wasn’t officially discovered until 1925 when a pair of tentacles were discovered in the stomach of a sperm whale. Although giant squid have been known to exist since the days of Aristotle, these two tentacles had a distinguishing property all previously observed squid lacked. Along with the powerful suckers and small teeth found on all giant squid, the Colossal Squid is also armed with sharp, multi-pronged hooks. It’s sharp beak is also the largest and most robust of any squid.
An ambush predator that spends its days in depths of up to 2,200m, much of the Colossal Squid’s way of life is still shrouded in mystery. As of 1999 there had only been 188 reported sightings of this creature worldwide.
Image: Chris huh
The Sperm Whale:
“In the Blue Corner, weighing in at a jaw dropping 57,000 kilograms (63 ST), the largest toothed animal in existence at a ridiculous 20.5 metres (67 ft), the defending heavy-weight champion of the world… the Sperm Whaaale!!!”
Image: Mike Goren
Look at the size of that Moby Dick.
The Sperm Whale has a much longer history of human interaction than the giant squid. Often hunted by whalers for its oil and other products, the sperm whale has been noted to use its massive size to fight off whaling vessels. The most notable occasion (and also the inspiration for Herman Melville’s Moby Dick) was the sinking of the American whaleship Essex in 1820.
An aggressive predator, the sperm whale can dive up to 2km to feast on various deep sea fish and squid including giant squid and the little known megamouth shark.
Image: Murray and Hjort
“LLLeeets Get Ready to RUUUUMMMMBBBBBLLLEEEEE!!!!”
Unfortunately for the Colossal Squid, the sperm whale is the stronger by far in this battle of the deep. Diving deeper than 6,000ft in search of prey, the Colossal Squid seems like a promising meal to the goliath sperm whale.
The first tool in the squid’s defense however are its enormous eyes. Used mainly for predator location, the squid waits in ambush for smaller prey, while keeping a vigilant eye out for impending death from above.
The sperm whale is no amateur of course and it’s possible that it uses a structure in its mouth called (seriously) monkey lips to create a clicking noise of over 230 decibels (the loudest sound produced by any animal) for the sole purpose of stunning the squid from a distance.
The battle could go down in the way this very anticlimactic clip shows.
As the sperm whale moves in for the kill, the Colossal Squid would have no choice but to bust out its second line of defense, shooting a cloud of black ink into the whale’s face in a last ditch attempt to avoid confrontation.
Of course, the sperm whale hunts through echolocation, meaning the blinding ink would do little to distract it from its target.
The Colossal Squid’s last hope is to latch onto the whale with its giant tentacles and inflict as much pain as possible with it’s powerful teethed suckers and razor sharp hooks. The whale answers back with its own sharp teeth and powerful jaw…