** FILE ** In this photo released by New Zealand Fisheries Department on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2007, shows an unidentified New Zealand fisherman with a giant squid believed to have been caught in early February 2007 in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. The creature is known as a colossal squid (scientific name Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni). Expert Steve O’Shea said the squid had weighed in at 495 kilograms (1,089 pounds) and measured 10 meters (33 feet) long _ heavier but shorter than initial estimates of 450 kilograms (990 lbs) and 12 meters (39 feet). It appears to be by far the largest specimen of the rare and mysterious deep-water species Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, or colossal squid, ever caught. At the time it was caught, O’Shea said it would make calamari rings the size of tractor tyres if cut up _ but they would taste like ammonia. (AP Photo/New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries, HO) **EDITORIAL USE ONLY, NO ARCHIVE, NO SALES**

What to do when you need to defrost over 1,089 pounds of colossal squid? Haul out an industrial microwave oven, that’s what. The 33-foot sub-adult colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) in question was netted in Antarctic waters by New Zealand fishermen in February. After the fishing boat’s crew spent two hours reeling it in, the squid was immediately frozen for preservation onboard the ship. Now, after a two-hour flight back to New Zealand, scientists wish to study the creature in detail (and eventually, embalm it in preservative), but they fear that in the time it would take to defrost the entire squid at room temperature—days—the outer skin of the animal would begin to rot while the internal organs remained frozen. One possible solution is a sort of microwave oven used by the timber industry to improve wood permeability to preservative. Whatever they use, it’d better be big. A calamari ring from the kraken would be the size of a tractor tire. Alas, it would also taste strongly of ammonia, a prevalent chemical in giant-squid flesh that helps maintain neutral buoyancy underwater. Yum. —Martha Harbison

Link – BBC News