A group of tourists discovered a half-eaten corpse of one of the most elusive deep sea creatures washed up on a beach in New Zealand. A local tour guide who was leading the group described the incident as a "once-in-a-lifetime" experience.
The huge cephalopod which boasted a mantle around 13 feet long, was found on the beach at Farewell Spit nature reserve, South Island, on September 9.
The remains were first spotted by a guide from the tour agency Farewell Spit Tours.
Anton Donaldson, the Farewell Spit Tours guide, told The New Zealand Herald, "It's not a common find on any beach, so if you're able to be there at the right time, it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
He added that it was also sobering to see such a "magnificent example of a large sea creature" dead on land.
Giant squids are the second biggest squids in the entire ocean, second only to the colossal squid - and can measure up to 43 feet in length.
The huge cephalopods are believed to have been the inspiration for the mythological sea creature known today as the "Kraken". These elusive deep sea dwellers live in water more than 2,950 feet below the surface and are rarely seen by the human eye.
Mr Donaldson said: "It looked like the tentacles had been chewed back by some other sea creatures, such as small sharks or fish. "While I don't know for sure, I imagine it had been floating out there for a period of time and had washed up."
The New Zealand Herald reported that New Zealand's Department of Conservation was planning on retrieving the remains so that they could be studied.