Was a Giant Squid Found in California?

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As shared on Facebook, Jan. 9, 2014:

Giant Squid Found in California
Netlore Archive: Viral article claims a 160-foot-long giant squid was found washed up on a California beach and is believed to have originated from waters near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan. Via Facebook

Description: Fake News / Hoax / Satire
Circulating since: Jan. 2014
Status: False (see details below)

Text example:
Via LightlyBraisedTurnip.com, Jan. 4, 2014:

Giant Squid Discovered On California Coast And Scientists Suspect Radioactive Gigantism


For the second time in recent months, a giant sea creature has washed ashore in California.  First it was a rare oarfish that had grown to a freakish 100-foot length.  This time it was a giant squid measuring a whopping 160 feet from head to tentacle tip.

These giants look different but experts believe they share one important commonality: they both come from the waters near the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant in the Futaba District of Japan.

- Full Text -

Analysis: Clearly a hoax. Consider the source, a "news" website called, of all things, "Lightly Braised Turnip."

Consider, too, that source's "publisher's statement," which includes among its so-called "guiding principles" the vow to "never be satisfied with merely printing news but also create news where needed."

That this is indeed an instance of "created news" is borne out by the absence of all mention of this newsworthy incident in legitimate media sources, local or national. And by the fact that the image above purporting to document the impossibly huge 160-foot giant squid is, in reality, an altered version of an Oct. 2013 photo showing a real, though much smaller (30-foot-long), squid found washed up on a beach in Spain. (As a reference point, the largest giant squid ever recorded was 43 feet long.)

Finally, for good measure I looked up a couple of the "experts" quoted in the Lightly Braised Turnip article, Santa Monica Parks Manager Cynthia Beard and Santa Marino College biology professor Martin L. Grimm. Unsurprisingly, neither exists.

Helpful info:
Don't Be Fooled! A Guide to Fake News Websites

See also:
Giant Snake Found in Red Sea
• Snowball, the Giant Mutant Cat of Ontario
Giant Snake Spotted in Florida (and Elsewhere)
Hercules, World's Biggest Dog

Sources and further reading:

Elusive Giant Squid Washes Up on Spanish Beach
LiveScience.com, 4 October 2013

Giant Squid
Smithsonian Ocean Portal

Last updated 01/09/14