For centuries, there's been an ongoing debate about the existence of the giant squid. The creature, akin to the mythical Kraken according to some legends and folklore, is said to inhabit deep waters and has been accused of bringing down massive ships lost at sea. While there's no definitive proof that a ship-sinking creature does exist in the deep water, there is a place right in Newfoundland that pays tribute to a squid that was, indeed, classified as a giant.
Thimble Tickle, which is now known as Glover's Harbour, was once known for its boastful catch of the day in the form of a 55-foot squid. The small fishing village is easily recognizable thanks to the life-sized replica of the 'devil fish' that was said to have been caught just off the coast. While this is a unique reason to visit the village, it's certainly not the only one.
The Giant Squid In Thimble Tickle
First and foremost, Glover's Harbour has built its reputation on the fishing lifestyle of its residents as well as the giant squid that once graced its shores. Since 1878, another squid has yet to be found in that same area, at least one that shares the same gargantuan nature as the one that was caught during the 19th century. The story goes that the squid, which goes by the scientific name of Architeuthis dux, was caught on a chilly day in November. A local fisherman by the name of Stephen Sherring was fishing just offshore with two of his mates when they discovered the giant squid struggling at the shoreline. The squid had gotten tangled and caught in the surf close to the beach, and it was such a shock to the fishermen that they originally thought the creature was just part of a shipwreck or debris bobbing on the waves.
The fishermen made the decision to catch the squid (the details are a bit murky around whether or not it could have been saved) and pulled it into shore. When the tide receded, the squid succumbed and was measured to be a full 55 feet. Experts believe that the squid may have been slightly smaller if it were measure while it was still living (which would obviously have been a near-impossible task) but it was a giant squid, nevertheless.
Life-Sized Thimble Tickle Specimen Sculpture
To commemorate the historic moment, a life-sized sculpture of the giant squid was created by Don Foulds and his Fine Arts students in 2001. It was constructed with concrete and mesh wiring, and measure the exact same length that the actual squid supposedly did back in 1878.
The sculpture stands today as part of the Giant Squid Interpretation Site, where visitors can stop by a museum and gift shop detailing the history of the area and its mythical-like squid.
Giant Squid Interpretation Site
Visitors to the museum will be pleasantly surprised to stumble upon this Interpretation Site. Inside, they'll learn all about the squid that came ashore and exactly how it was reported in the news back in 1878, along with photo depictions of the event and the actual catching of the squid. Glover's Harbour still holds the Guinness World Record for the largest squid ever caught, making this small fishing village somewhat of a commodity for those who are interested in travel oddities. Details that wouldn't otherwise be found online can be read about in the museum, where the official records of the encounter are kept; various exhibits detail the history of the area and its long fishing background, as well.
In addition to the museum and the sculpture of the giant squid, visitors will be pleasantly surprised by the scenery in Glover's Harbour. The entire marina is surrounding by rolling green hillsides and glacial lakes, making it incredibly picturesque for those who have never visited Newfoundland before. While the community is only made up of about 70 people, Glover's Harbour is a great little stop in between destinations or en route during a day trip. A promising review from TripAdvisor reads:
"Glover's Harbour was an exciting yet peaceful part of Newfoundland. It is truly amazing to stand next to the giant squid and picture in your mind what the sailors must have thought when a creature like this came towards their ship.
The people of Glover's Harbour are always more than welcome to share their history and stories about their wonderful town."
The museum details are as follows:
- Hours: Daily
- Seasonal: June 21st - September 6th
- Location: Right on Main Street in Glover's Harbour, Newfoundland