School started as usual at Jane Collins Academy on that dull damp day of November 10th, 1981…
Shortly into the first class of the morning, news rapidly spread through the school that a giant squid had washed ashore! At that point, we weren’t even sure if it was dead or alive!
It was only about a five minute walk from the school, and since this was a once-in-a-lifetime event, the staff decided to take each class in turn to see this amazing creature. When it was my turn, I took along my Pentax camera. The pictures you see here (below) were taken with that camera.
When we arrived at the shore the sounds coming from my grade six class were “Wow, Hoooo, Amazing…” Some students were too afraid to go near the giant squid; the color and shape were like any ordinary squid, but the size was magnified several hundred times!
It was determined that the giant squid was female and weighed about three hundred pounds. From the tip of its tail to the end of its longest tentacle it measured forty-two feet. The gigantic eye looked menacing. This was the first squid discovered with the eye still intact.
The giant squid was discovered by Dave Lush while walking with his young daughter Kelly.
Dr. Fred Aldrich, an expert on the giant squid, was contacted and a team from Memorial University soon arrived. It was a logistic nightmare – trying to preserve and move such a giant creature without causing damage – but they managed to get it back to St. John’s. It is now on permanent display at The Rooms.