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Watch How the Deadliest Squid in the World Bites Diver

the deadliest squid in the world
Image by BBC Earth Unplugged via YouTube
YouTube video


On a mission to discover the world’s most deadly animals, this diver ventures into the depths of the ocean to study the Humboldt squid. He is equipped with a protective suit of chainmail, but can is still able to feel the force of the squid’s bite — a testament to the animal’s significant strength.

Eventually safety personnel has to intervene, and without his protective gear experts on the scene said he would’ve likely lost his hand.

Why Is the Humboldt Squid One of the Deadliest Animals in the World?

The Humboldt squid is feared for its aggressiveness and strength. While they can grow up to 6 feet in length and weigh over 100 pounds, their size is just the beginning.

They possess powerful beaks capable of breaking through hard shells and, as shown, almost a chainmail suit as well. Scientists estimate that they have a bite force of up to 1,000 pounds. This is almost equivalent to that of a hyena – a predator specifically known for its bite force.

In addition to all this, their hunting prowess is enhanced by sharp, barbed tentacles, making them even more deadly.

A Spicy Nickname: The Red Devil

the deadliest squid in the world
By Anonymous – Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12740233

The Humboldt squid’s nickname, “the red devil,” comes from its dramatic color-changing ability. This cephalopod can swiftly alter its skin color and pattern through specialized cells called chromatophores, a feature that serves both as a means of communication and a defensive mechanism.

The vivid red flashes act as a warning or display of aggression, making the squid appear more intimidating to predators and rivals.

Stories of Humboldts Attacking Humans

Humboldt squids, often termed the ‘red devil’ by local fishermen, have a notorious reputation for aggression towards humans, fueled by harrowing tales and documented encounters. While some reports describe them as devouring individuals within minutes, others suggest their aggression may be provoked by reflective gear or lights.

The lack of documentation though makes it difficult to decipher what’s real, and what’s folklore.

Rare Cannibalistic Tendencies

humboldt squid
By Fish guy – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23586763

Humboldt squids exhibit one of the more unsettling behaviors in the animal kingdom: cannibalism. Under conditions of scarce food resources or heightened competition, these squids might turn on their kind, showcasing the harsh realities of survival in the deep sea.

One of the Fastest Growing Rates in the Animal Kingdom

To add to their list of impressive (and scary) traits, the deadliest squid in the world also has one of the fastest growth rates.

In a single year, they go from measuring less than an inch to well over three feet. In order to sustain this growth, they, of course, need to eat up a storm – again underlining their efficiency as predators and their role in the marine ecosystem.

The Deadliest Squid in the World: Conclusion

humboldt squid
Image by mikeledray via Depsitphotos

It’s easy to forget about the numerous and dangerous creatures that can be found under the ocean’s surface. Although the red devil, or Humboldt squid, can scare even the most hardy fisherman or diver, we can’t help but admire it at the same time.

Thank you for reading this article about the deadliest squid in the world! To learn more about scary marine residents, take a look here: