The Giant Squid (Architeuthis dux) is so elusive that the first photograph of a live specimen in its natural habitat wasn’t captured until 2004. Much of what scientists have been able to learn about them comes from specimens they’ve gathered from the undigested beaks found in the stomachs of their only known predator, the Sperm Whale. So when high-profile Australian angler and outdoor journalist Al McGlashan found a nearly whole specimen 30 miles off Jervis Bay earlier this month, the news was bound to create a stir. When a blue shark attacked the carcass while McGlashan was filming a segment on the find for his “Big Fish, Small Boat” TV show, well, the news went viral. A minute-long YouTube video of the encounter racked up 5 million hits and newspaper accounts of the run-in turned up from South American to India.
McGlashan–whose photographs have appeared in Marlin, Sportfishing, Fly Fishing in Salt Waters, and Salt Water Sportsman magazines–provided exclusive unseen video footage of the encounter to Field & Stream and shared the story and photos behind the discovery, which he ranks among the top experiences in a storied angling career.
Take a look at McGlashlan’s underwater photos of a mako shark biting the tail off a marlin!