Question Sheet: Fishing for Giant Squid


Before reading:

  1. What’s the difference between a squid and an octopus? In what ways are these

    animals the same?

  2. Why are parts of the ocean still unexplored?

During reading:

  1. Where did scientists obtain images of a live giant squid?
  2. Why has it been hard to find a live giant squid?
  3. What is a cephalopod? What features do all cephalopods share?
  4. What’s unusual about a cephalopod’s skin?
  5. Describe two differences between jumbo squid and giant squid.
  6. Why are remotely operated vehicles not very effective for finding and

    studying giant squid?

After reading:

  1. Why is it important to observe live giant squid and not just study dead

    specimens? See

    (NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center).

  2. Why is a live giant squid so difficult to find? Why do people keep searching

    for giant squid? See Yorker).

  3. Design a vehicle that would be good for hunting and studying giant squid.

    What kind of equipment would the vehicle have?

  4. Are there other legendary or mythic sea creatures, such as the Loch Ness

    monster, worth searching for? Why or why not?

  5. How is a squid like a snail? See

    (NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center).


  1. Locate on a map where the live giant squid was spotted. Where else in the

    world might giant squid be found? Where have dead giant squid washed up on

    shore? See (Carleton

    University/New York Times) and


  2. Most squid caught off the coast of California are shipped to China and Japan. In what ways is squid used in these countries? See (Pacific Seafood Group).


  1. Explain why the author of this article used a quote from a book by John

    Steinbeck at the end. How does the quote relate to scientists studying squid?

    Why would you sometimes use a quotation from a book in a news article?

  2. A report of an encounter between a French naval ship and what might have

    been a giant squid inspired author Jules Verne to include such a creature in his

    book Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Read the excerpt from the

    book available at

    (NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center). Describe how you might film this battle for a



The giant squid is the largest invertebrate on Earth. It can weigh as much as 1 ton. The largest mammal on Earth also lives in the sea: the blue whale. If a blue whale weighs 190 times more than a giant squid, how heavy is an average blue whale (in pounds and kilograms)?