Jan 19, 2020
With gargantuan tentacles and the size of soccer balls, it’s no wonder the giant squid used to be thought of as a cryptid, but the most cryptic thing about it has been the DNA that makes it a monster.
The Kraken of myth and legend is a mollusk otherwise known as Architeuthis dux. There is nothing paranormal about it (though enormous things that lurk in the depths of the ocean often seem surreal), but its genome sequence has evaded science for years. This elusive creature has never been caught alive. There are some frozen museum specimens that periodically get defrosted for study, but even these haven’t revealed much about the creature’s biology. Now its genome has finally risen from the deep.
“The elusiveness of the species makes it difficult to study. Thus, having a genome assembled for this deep-sea–dwelling species will allow several pending evolutionary questions to be unlocked,” Rute R. da Fonseca of the University of Copenhagen, who led .
about giant squid is that they are obviously huge, with being a staggering 59 feet in length and weighing in at about a ton. They also have three hearts and possibly the most acute vision of any extant animal. Their copper-based blood, called hemocyamin, is an eerie blue. Food passes right through their brains. Squid and some other cephalopods, like cuttlefish, so fast that it almost looks like someone messed with the special effects.