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Giant Squid 'Attacks French Boat'

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    NHNE News List Current Members: 760 Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message. ... GIANT SQUID ATTACKS FRENCH BOAT BBC News Wednesday,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 17, 2003
      NHNE News List
      Current Members: 760
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      GIANT SQUID 'ATTACKS FRENCH BOAT'
      BBC News
      Wednesday, January 15, 2003

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2661691.stm

      French sailors taking part in the round-the-world Jules Verne Trophy say
      they have come across one of the most elusive monsters of the sea - the
      giant squid.

      Veteran yachtsman Olivier De Kersauson - who sailed from Brittany on
      Saturday - said that several hours into his voyage he found that a giant
      squid had clamped onto the hull of his boat.

      The creature - scientifically known as Architeutis dux - is the largest of
      all invertebrates. Scientists believe it can be as long as 18 metres (60
      feet).

      Giant squids have been found washed ashore or caught in the nets of
      trawlers, but scientists have never seen one alive.

      Stuff of legend

      Olivier de Kersauson said the sighting occurred off the Portuguese island of
      Madeira.

      "I saw a tentacle through a porthole," Olivier de Kersauson said from his
      boat. "It was thicker than my leg and it was really pulling the boat hard."

      Mr de Kersauson says two of the tentacles were blocking the rudder.

      Giant squids often feature in maritime legends and novels - including Jules
      Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

      But unlike Jules Verne's fictional Captain Nemo, Mr de Kersauson did not
      have to fight with the monster and cut off its tentacles.

      The French sailor says the squid released its grip when he stopped the boat.

      "We didn't have anything to scare off this beast, so I don't know what we
      would have done if it hadn't let go," Mr de Kersauson said.

      "We weren't going to attack it with our penknives."

      Rare sighting

      Mr de Kersauson says the squid must have been seven or eight metres (22 to
      26 feet) long.

      "I've never seen anything like it in 40 years of sailing," he says.

      Giant squids are carnivorous mollusks who live deep under the sea.

      Only about 250 sightings - mostly of dead animals - have ever been recorded.

      A giant squid measuring about 15 metres (50 feet) was found washed up on an
      Australian beach in July.

      A smaller one was caught by a trawler's net off the coast of Scotland a year
      ago.

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