Farewell Spit tour made extra memorable by giant squid discovery

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    Allan Burgess
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    Farewell Spit tour made extra memorable by giant squid discovery
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    A group of tourists travelling along Farewell Spit got more than they bargained for when they stumbled upon a giant squid.

    Story by Amy Ridout – Stuff.co.nz – 14 July 2019

    Tourists travelling along Farewell Spit had an extra memorable tour when they stumbled on a giant squid.

    Farewell Spit Eco Tours manager Paddy Gillooly was travelling with a group of 12 tourists on Saturday along the 26 kilometre stretch of sand, about 50km north of Takaka, when he spotted the sea creature.

    Gillooly said he had encountered six or seven similarly sized squid over the years.

    “They tend to wash up every five years or so.”
    The squid was near the high tide mark, and Gillooly estimated it had washed up earlier that morning.

    “It’s obviously quite fresh.”

    At around 5.5 metres long, the squid wasn’t the largest he’d seen, he said.

    The tour group was surprised, with lots of “wows” and “what is its”, Gillooly said.

    “Jaw-dropping astonishment was the obvious reaction. People were surprised at the size. We were having a pretty good tour anyway, just to add that to it was pretty good.

    “It added some extra memories to the trip.”

    Gillooly wondered if the small hooks on the creature’s suckers earned the squid “colossal” status.

    However, marine educator Richard de Hamel believed it was a giant squid.

    “My understanding is that a colossal squid has huge eyes, as big as a dinner plate size,” he said. “And the overall size [of the squid on Farewell Spit] is more giant squid size.” Read more about it on Stuff.co.nz

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