From Mermen to Architeuthis, Our Fascination with the Giant Squid

Humans have long been captivated by what we now call the giant squid (Architeuthis). This image gallery gives a glimpe into our fascination with the animal. For a long time, people saw mysterious movements in the water or found dead giant squid and didn't know what they were—and even confused a giant squid carcass with a merman or mermaid. Now we know otherwise, but it took a long time for scientific evidence to replace the myths about giant squid.

Illustration of a giant squid versus a merman.
In 1874, Reverend Moses Harvey of Newfoundland bought a dead giant squid caught by fishermen.In 1874 Reverend Moses Harvey of Newfoundland displayed the giant squid he bought on the side of his barn, much to the dismay of Mrs. Harvey.An 1874 photo of a squid draped over a bathtub. Published in 1882 by Yale Professor A.E. Verrill, this is the first scientific illustration of a giant squid.