A giant squid (Architeuthis dux) measuring in at almost seven metres (23ft) washed up dead on a beach in the New Zealand town of Kaikoura yesterday.

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Image: Kaikoura Marine Center and Aquarium

Staff at the Kaikoura Marine Center and Aquarium are now busy preserving the supersized specimen. "She's a big girl!" they said in a Facebook post. "Before the birds got to it, we moved it to the aquarium where it's now safe inside a freezer with glass windows. She will stay on display until we can do more with her."

This is the second giant squid to wash up on Kaikoura's coastline in the past few years, but this hardy female is much bigger than her predecessor. Each eye is about 19 centimetres (about 8 inches) across, and each of the large serrated suckers about 2.5 centimetres (1 inch).

Amazingly, the largest giant squid ever documented measured in at 12 metres (40 feet) in length (for comparison, the height of an average wall in an American home is about 3 metres), so this girl still had a lot of growing to do! The cause of death is unknown at this stage, but we'll be updating you as news comes in. 

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Image: Kaikoura Marine Center and Aquarium
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Image: Kaikoura Marine Center and Aquarium

Top header image: Kaikoura Marine Center and Aquarium