When she spotted the creature on Golden Mile Beach, Adéle Grosse's first thought was to save the poor animal that was clearly in distress, however, when she took a closer look she knew her efforts would be in vain. She explained to LiveScience:
At first, I just wanted to get it back into the ocean, [but] on closer observation, one could see that it was dead.
According to Michael Vecchione, a zoologist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natrual History In Washington, D.C. a sighting such as this one is extremely rare. Known to only happen once every few years.
Giant squid or (Architeuthis dux) are carnivorous predators whos eyes are about 30-centimetres in diameter, have the largest eyes out of any animal on earth. This particular squid was estimated to be about 4 meters long and likely weighed in excess of 660lbs (almost 50 stone). According to a study on the Mitochondrial Genome of the Architeuthis, published in the Proceedings Of The Royal Society B, this giant squid was actually quite small as females can reach up to 18 metres in length.
Mrs. Grosse stated that she and her husband came across the deceased invertebrate during a morning walk. It's not exactly clear on what caused the giant squid to die but Grosse mentioned:
We had big swells the night before, and it was my understanding that the swell washed up this beautiful squid onto the beach in the early hours of the morning, we looked for bite marks or injuries and could not really find anything.
Adéle was able to get in touch with Wayne Florence a curator at Iziko Museums of South Africa whose team was able to collect the squid. They are storing it in a freezer facility until lockdown restrictions are lifted and they are able to further study the amazing animal.