In 1978, a large sea creature, supposedly an unknown species of squid, about 150 feet (45 meters) long, attacked the USS Stein and with its claws caused damage to the skin of a sonar attached to the bottom of the vessel.
The story sounds like fiction, but it was officially confirmed and the incident was later included in the “Sea Creatures and Equipment Damage Problem” report.
Unfortunately, the story that got into the media contained few details, but there is a video that shows a piece of damaged rubber coating, literally littered with small holes.
It has also been reported that sharp claws, similar to the claws from suction cups on squid tentacles, were found embedded in the rubber. And these claws were as large as have ever been found on any squid found by science.
It has been estimated that a squid with such claws could reach a length of about 150 feet (45 meters), although this is a very unreliable estimate and official reports do not suggest the size of the attacking creature.
Damage to the NOFOUL rubber coating of sonar equipment was studied by expert F. G. Wood of the Naval Ocean Systems Center (Naval Electronics Laboratory), Point Lima, San Diego.
NOFOUL is a rubber-like coating used to cover sonar domes to reduce the growth of polluting organisms.
“Approximately 8% of the area of the dome was damaged, resulting in increased sonar noise. Nearly all of the cuts contained remnants of what appeared to be teeth or claws. After examining these ‘claws’, scientists have now concluded that the most the likely culprit is a large squid species. A number of squid species have rim claws,” the NOSC report said.
“In some species of squid, the suckers have been replaced by sharp, curved claws. But none of these claws exceed a fraction of the size of fragments recovered from NOFOUL.
“If the squid was indeed responsible for the damage (and there seems to be no other plausible explanation for this), then it must was to be extremely large and belong to a species hitherto unknown to science.”
It is still not known for sure whether it was really some kind of giant squid unknown to science or another mysterious sea creature, since no additional information has been leaked since then. Maybe the information was classified.
It is also still unknown where the USS Stein was in the ocean when it received such damage, whether this large creature was displayed on the military radar, whether the sailors heard the sounds when it attacked the ship, and so on.
By the way, science has already recognized the existence of giant squid, but officially the largest giant squid reaches about 8 meters. There are also reports of 20-meter squids, but they are considered unproven rumors.
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