Can you tell fact from fiction? Take the giant squid quiz.

CORRECT ANSWERS: 0

Giant squids seem like something out of a science fiction movie. Reports of sightings go back as far as the fourth century B.C., but back then were usually dismissed as fantasy or labeled as mythological creatures.

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Question 1 of 20

Female giant squids can grow to a length of 43 feet (13.1 meters).

fact
fiction
almost fact: It's the male squids that can grow to that huge size.

... Female giant squids can grow to be a whopping 43 feet (13.1 meters) long. Most giant squids are not as giant as that, though, and measure closer to 20 feet (6 meters) or so.

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Question 2 of 20

The first-ever video of a live giant squid was filmed in 1981.

fact
fiction
almost fact: The year 1981 represents when the first still photograph was taken of the elusive water dweller.

... The first-ever video of a giant squid was filmed later -- in December 2006, near the Ogasawara Islands in Japan.

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Question 3 of 20

Giant squids are very rare and that's why they're seldom spotted.

fact
fiction
almost fact: The reason people seldom see them is that they are known for their abilities to camouflage their shapes.

... Experts now think giant squids might not be as rare as previously believed. The reason people see so few of the squids is because they live at such great depths and rarely come up to the surface.

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Question 4 of 20

Squids' bodies are made of chitin and cartilage.

fact
fiction
almost fact: Squids have chitin, but no cartilage.

... Chitin is the main component of the exoskeleton of invertebrates like squids. It's most similar to cellulose or keratin and plays a role similar to bone in mammals, holding the organs in place. Giant squids have both chitin and cartilage.

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Question 5 of 20

A giant female squid can weigh up to 410 pounds (186 kilograms).

fact
fiction
almost fact: Only females "with squid" (or pregnant ones) can reach this weight.

... It's actually 610 pounds (277 kilograms) for female squids, even when not about to give birth. Male squids are significantly smaller.

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Question 6 of 20

The giant squid has eight arms, just like an octopus, but no other appendages.

fact
fiction
almost fact: It has eight arms, plus two additional tentacles.

... The giant squid has eight arms and two tentacles. The tentacles, which can reach lengths of 20 feet (6 meters), are longer than its arms.

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Question 7 of 20

The giant squid has no known predators.

fact
fiction
almost fact: Adults have no predators, but their young often are hunted by other sea animals.

... The sperm whale is believed to be the giant squid's only predator, and it likes its squids young or old.

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Question 8 of 20

Scientists can determine the age of a squid through "growth rings," which are similar to the ones you would find in a tree.

fact
fiction
almost fact: They actually are called "age rings."

... These growth rings are found in the squid's statocyst, a unique organ that helps aquatic invertebrates find balance and orientation in the water. The statocyst is located next to the brain.

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Question 9 of 20

The main body of a giant squid is known as the mantle.

fact
fiction
almost fact: The mantle is the squid's head, not its body.

... The mantle -- or body -- of a squid is made up of skin and muscle.

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Question 10 of 20

The eyes of the giant squid are the largest of any animal in the world.

fact
fiction
almost fact: They're the largest of any ocean dweller, but the elephant's eyes are larger.

... The giant squid outranks all creatures; each eye can grow to the size of a beach ball.

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Question 11 of 20

Giant squids might be the famous "sea monsters" of Norse legend.

fact
fiction
almost fact: The Romans were the ones to talk of giant sea monsters.

... Tentacled sea monsters, known as Kraken, have featured prominently in Norse legends, Greek mythology and literature of the Middle Ages.

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Question 12 of 20

Giant squids eat other squids.

fact
fiction
almost fact: Giant squids only eat other squids when no fish are available.

... The diet of a giant squid consists mainly of fish and its smaller cousins -- other squids.

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Question 13 of 20

Giant squids do NOT attack humans.

fact
fiction
almost fact: There's an isolated report of an attack dating back to World War II.

... There are several reports of giant squids attacking vessels or humans at sea. The World War II incident is one of them. It happened when survivors of a sunken ship were attacked by a giant squid. Survivors said the squid reached over the side of the small rescue boat and pulled one crew member out.

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Question 14 of 20

Giant squids live all over the world.

fact
fiction
almost fact: They live in many areas, but they avoid polar latitudes.

... Giant squids live around the world, but are not found in polar regions. They also are rare in very warm tropical waters.

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Question 15 of 20

It's a giant squid that attacks the vessel in Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth.

fact
fiction
almost fact: It's Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea that features a giant squid attacking the submarine.

... In the original book ("20,000 Leagues Under the Sea") Verne uses the word "poulpe" to identify the monster. Technically this translates to octopus, not squid, but who has time for details when under attack?

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Question 16 of 20

Giant squids float because of their gas-filled bladders, the same as fish do.

fact
fiction
almost fact: Fish don't have gas-filled bladders, but squids do.

... The giant squid has a solution of ammonium chloride flowing throughout its body. This solution is actually lighter than seawater, making the squid buoyant.

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Question 17 of 20

The giant squid is the largest known invertebrate.

fact
fiction
almost fact: The colossal squid is even larger.

... The colossal squid, which is much rarer than the giant squid, is said by some to grow up to more like 49 feet (15 meters) long.

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Question 18 of 20

The giant squid can squirt ink, just like the octopus.

fact
fiction
almost fact: Only female squids can squirt ink.

... All giant squids can squirt ink. As they do, the ink forms a squid-like shape that confuses the predators and gives the squid enough time to jet away.

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Question 19 of 20

Giant squids live at a depth of up to 15,000 feet (4,572 meters).

fact
fiction
almost fact: Actually, it's more like 10,000 feet (3,048 meters).

... It's not easy to study these giant ocean creatures because they live at great depths, but scientists estimate the giant squid dwells between 600 and 2,300 feet (182 to 701 meters) below the ocean's surface.

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Question 20 of 20

The only giant squid alive in captivity can be seen in London.

fact
fiction
almost fact: It's actually in Monterey, California.

... No live squids exist in captivity. The Natural History Museum in London has a dead squid on exhibit. At 28.2 feet (8.5 meters) long, it's a small specimen compared with others that have been caught or spotted.

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