One day in October of 1873, Rev. Moses Harvey opened his front door in St. John’s, Newfoundland, to discover that monsters exist.
Before him was a six-metre length of ropy tentacle, severed from a living giant squid. Dusky red and tough as leather, it was about the thickness of a man’s wrist.
As a man of science, Harvey knew the value of his prize. He would later describe it as “the veritable arm of the hitherto mythical devilfish.”
Stories of gigantic sea monsters had been around for centuries, but they were difficult to verify. What had come into Harvey’s possession was apparently the first conclusive evidence of the existence of Architeuthis — the giant squid.
The squid was found by local fishermen, who had to put up quite a fight to keep the creature from pulling them under.
A few weeks later, fishermen in a neighbouring community grappled with another giant squid. This one also ended up with Harvey, who was known to take an interest in the creatures.