Legends of giant squid attacking vessels on the open ocean are great nightmare fuel, even if they never truly occurred. But the sight of a real-life giant squid wrapping its tentacles around a man’s paddleboard, as seen in a recent video that’s been making the rounds, makes those old myths certainly seem plausible.
In the video, originally shared on Instagram by a South African paddleboarder named James Taylor, the creature can be seen slowly laying its tentacles across the board from beneath. Taylor does not seem overly concerned with the tentacles grabbing his board, even if it seems like something out of a sea monster movie. And as it turned out, things were not nearly as sinister as they seemed.
According to Taylor’s description posted with the video, pointed out by Earth Touch News, when he first caught sight of the large squid, he noticed it was injured. As he later explained on Facebook, the squid was covered in wounds and missing a number of tentacles. Taylor went back to shore, and got a rope so that he could take it to land for potential research, reasoning that the creature would have died from its injuries and be lost or damaged to other predators.
Taylor and his friends took the squid back to the shore, killed it, and contacted the local aquarium to come check out the specimen. The aquarium proved unavailable, so he said that he “dissected” it and sent pictures and videos of the find, from which a researcher was able to identify it as an actual giant squid (genus Architeuthis).
The video has since received some backlash from those who think Taylor may have acted too rashly. Regardless of the rightness of Taylor’s decision, the short video offers a rare glimpse of the elusive giant squid in action, and a good example of what may have inspired the more outlandish legends of yesteryear.