While fishing off the coast of Hawaii recently, a group aboard a charter with Kona Sea Adventures came across an unusual sight: a seven-foot squid bobbing near the surface of the water! The fishermen had just released a blue marlin when they spotted the massive creature floating nearby and moved in for a closer look.

Giant Squid 2015 09 05
Image © Mathew Fowler

"It appeared dead but we weren't totally sure,” boat captain Cyrus Widhalm of Kona Sea Adventures told Newsweek. Widhalm contacted a marine biologist for advice (kudos for doing the right thing!), who recommended that they haul the rare find on board and bring it back to land (provided it was actually dead, of course).

“My deck hand and I … reached out over the side of the boat. We didn't realize how heavy [the squid] was. I held him in place as he reached down to get it because we were worried a tentacle would reach out to grab him. Once we were sure it was dead, I got into the water. I pushed it up and he pulled it out," Widhalm explains.

Giant Squid Underwater 2015 09 05
Image © Mathew Fowler

According to Widhalm, the animal appeared to have been preyed on by something, although it is unclear if this was the cause of death. The squid was taken back to dry land where it was weighed, clocking in at an impressive 52.7 pounds (24kg). After the crew snapped some photos, the squid was placed on ice and prepped for a lengthy journey to Washington state, where local researchers will examine the unusual find. Initial reports suggest that the animal could be Megalocranchia fisheri, a species of glass squid known to reach impressive sizes.

This is the first time in ten years of boating that Widhalm has come across anything like this. Showing an appreciation for the scientific value of his find, he added: "They are edible but it seems like it would better serve as a research tool."

Giant Squid Being Hauled Onto Boat 2015 09 05
Image © Mathew Fowler
Giant Squid On Boat 2 2015 09 05
Image © Mathew Fowler
Giant Squid Laid Out 2015 09 05
Image © Mathew Fowler