colossal squid size

Colossal Squid Size Explained & Compared With Others

Last Updated on March 10, 2024 by Amin Tawar

colossal squid size

The elusive colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) may be the largest of the squid family but that doesn’t make it any easier to spot. Given that some of the largest specimens can weigh upto 600 or 700 kg (1300 -1500 lb), that makes them the biggest invertebrates in the world. But alas, the only evidence we have for this is remains from the stomach of sperm whales. These squids are notoriously difficult to find specimens for.

Colossal Squid Length

We humans actually know very little about colossal squids since we’ve captured very few specimens. Most of our knowledge of the creatures come from beaks found inside the stomachs of sperm whales. That’s how we get an idea of the actual size these creatures can grow to. They’re mostly found in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean.

The body and the tentacles all combined measure about 10 to 14 meters (33 – 46 feet). Of this, over half the length is made up by the tentacles, which have sharp hooks and suckers attached to them. Like with many large animals, females are generally thought to be larger than males but we don’t have exact measurements for such differences.

AnimalTotal LengthMantle LengthTentacle Length
Colossal Squid33 – 46 feet (10 – 14 m)13 – 20 feet (4 – 6 m)20 – 26 feet (6 – 8 m)

Colossal Squid Weight

From the specimens that have been found, we can assume that the average weight of a colossal squid is about 500 kg or 1200 lb. However, given the size of the beaks found in the stomach of the sperm whales, it’s possible that these squids can get even heavier.

We don’t know much about this species so it’s impossible to make any definite conclusions. However, it is clear that the colossal squid is generally much heavier than the giant squid. The giant squid might be longer in some cases, but they aren’t as bulky. 

Biologists estimate that the largest colossal squid might be 600 or 700 kg (1300 – 1500 lb). The largest sample of a colossal squid that was actually captured weighed 495 kg or 1091 lb.

Colossal Squid Eyes Size

What is fascinating about the colossal squid is that it has the largest eyes of any animal on earth! This includes animals that are bigger than it or other big invertebrates like the giant squid. Yes, the eyes of the colossal squid are definitely bigger than that of their biggest enemies, the sperm whale.

Given the information that we have, it seems likely that the eyes of a colossal squid can be a whopping 27 – 30 cm (11 – 12 inches) in diameter.

Colossal Squid Eggs Size

We don’t actually have much idea about the reproductive functions of the colossal squid. It’s hard to study such animals when you have such limited samples, after all. However, we do know that there are two different sexes and that the females tend to be larger than the males.

Studies of the female colossal squid that have been found show that they are very fertile. In fact, evidence shows that they can produce as many as 4.2 million oocytes or immature egg cells. Their ovaries show evidence of about 2175 eggs per gram. The eggs are very small indeed, ranging from 3.2×2.1 to 1.4×0.5 mm. 

Colossal Squid Juvenile Size

Very little was known about the colossal squid until the 1970s, since no complete specimens had been captured. One juvenile individual caught before that had a mantle length of 86 mm or 3.4 inches. 

In 1981, an immature female was discovered. Her mantle length was 2.42 m (7.9 feet) and total length was 5.1 m (17 feet). However, we still don’t know how old she was or at what age these creatures reach maturity. Given the scarcity of information about them, we need to stay tuned for more sightings and specimens.

Colossal Squid Size Comparison to Humans

Colossal Squid Size Comparison to Humans

It’s hard to comprehend the truly monstrous size of these marine giants. Thus, to make it easier, we can look at them side by side with a human. 

The average human is about 5 feet 9 inches tall. The average colossal squid is over 40 feet. This means that they are over six times the size of an average sized person. Or, if the squid were standing up on its tentacles, it would be as tall as the fourth floor of an apartment.

Colossal Squid Vs Giant Squid Comparison

Colossal Squid Vs Giant Squid Comparison

The colossal squid and the giant squid might often be confused with one another. In fact, the first few specimens of the colossal squid were mistaken for the giant squid. And yet, they’re pretty distinctive.

The colossal squid is considerably bulkier and weightier than the giant squid. The giant squid might possibly be longer, since its tentacles are so long. But they have very streamlined bodies. The colossal squid has a rather bulbous body, like an octopus.

The colossal squid also has rows of suckers and hooks on its tentacles, unlike any other member of the squid family. It makes it a dangerous predator in the deep seas.

AnimalAverage LengthAverage Weight
Colossal Squid33 – 46 feet (10 – 14 m)1091 – 1500 lb (495 – 700 kg)
Giant Squid33 – 43 feet (10 – 13 m)330 – 606 lb (150 – 275 kg)

Colossal Squid Vs Giant Pacific Octopus Comparison

Colossal Squid Vs Giant Pacific Octopus Comparison

While the colossal squid can be rather bulbous, like the octopus, there’s very little similarity between the two. The colossal squid and giant squid are both undoubtedly much longer than the giant Pacific octopus. 

In fact, while the octopus generally ranges from 3 – 5 m, the colossal squid clocks in at about 10 to 14 m. However, the length of the giant Pacific octopus if measured from one arm tip to the other is more impressive. This distance can be 9 m in length.

Where weight is concerned, the largest giant Pacific octopus weighs about 50 kg (110 lb). This, of course, is completely dwarfed by the colossal squid. However, the heaviest such octopus ever found weighed 272 kg (600 lb). This was an outlier, of course.

AnimalAverage LengthAverage Weight
Colossal Squid33 – 46 feet (10 – 14 m)1091 – 1500 lb (495 – 700 kg)
Giant Pacific Octopus10 – 16 feet (3 – 5 m)110 lb (50 kg)


And that is all that you need to know about the Colossal Squid. I hope this article was helpful and that you’ve got something valuable from it.

Scroll to Top