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Scientists Stunned After 23-Foot-Long Squid Washes Up On New Zealand Beach (Photos)

| by Khier Casino

A monster squid washed up on a beach in New Zealand earlier this week.

The mantle, which surrounds the main part of a squid’s body, is more than 6.6 feet long with an eye that is 3.15 inches wide, while its longest tentacle measures 16.4 feet in length, a spokesman from the Kaikoura Marine Centre and Aquarium wrote on Facebook.

"Before the birds got to it, we got help to move it to the aquarium where it is safe inside a freezer with glass windows so you can see it -- on display until we can do more with it,” the aquarium said, according to ABC News.

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Marine biologist and aquarium owner Megan Lewis said that the giant animal was identified as a mature female squid, but the scientists are not sure how old it was when it died.

"They tend to grow very fast and live not very long," Lewis told the Marlborough Express. “The majority of its weight is in the head, which is in pristine condition.”

While 23 feet is remarkable, the largest squid ever found was a whopping 59 feet long and weighed about a ton, according to the National Geographic.

Samples of the squid have been given to researchers at Auckland and Otago universities, but the specimen will remain at the aquarium for now.

This is not the first time a massive squid was found dead in New Zealand. In 2013, one was discovered after it was attacked by a larger squid.

Sources: ABC NewsMarlborough ExpressNational Geographic / Photo Credit: Kaikoura Marine Centre and Aquarium/Facebook