A squid measuring in at just over four metres (13ft) was found washed up on a beach near Welllington, New Zealand yesterday.

The impressive cephalopod was discovered by brothers Daniel, Jack and Matthew Aplin as they scoured the coastline near Red Rocks for a spot to go diving. While the trio have reportedly come across sharks in the area on previously occasions, this is the first time that they have encountered a washed-up squid.

The brothers contacted the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, who made arrangements to have the squid removed.

"After we went for a dive we went back to it and got a tape measure out and it measured 4.2 metres long," Daniel Aplin told the New Zealand Herald.

According to a spokesman from the Department of Conservation, the find was almost certainly a giant squid (Architeuthis dux). This is not the first time that one of these deep-sea denizens has wound up on a New Zealand beach; in 2015, a seven-metre (23ft) giant turned up on a beach in Kaikoura – the second one to wash up in the area in the last five years or so.

Giant squid spend their time in the deep sea and rarely surface, so it's unclear how this four-metre youngster ended up on a beach. "It was pretty clean, nothing major on it," Daniel Aplin explained. There was a scratch on the top of its head but smaller than a lighter, tiny, wouldn't think that's what killed it."

The largest giant squid on record measured in at 12 metres (40 feet) in length, so the latest Wellington wash-up 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.