Epic Battles: Great White Shark vs Giant Squid

Written by Emmanuel Kingsley
Published: November 28, 2022
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Sharks and squids are two oceanic species that have captured the attention of humankind. Both creatures have had a storied history originating from various civilizations, and the conception of monsters and gods has been inspired by tales of these lifeforms all over the world. Moreover, the epic battle between the monstrous squid and the monstrous shark is the one that would make a successful Hollywood blockbuster.

It’s going to be a real nail-biter to watch who would prevail before the credits roll because the pair are each equipped with their own deadly features; the shark’s razor-sharp teeth and the squid’s jagged tentacles. So, one question to ask: which creature, the great white shark or the giant squid, will win in an epic battle? This article answers.

Comparing a Great White Shark and a Giant Squid

While the great white shark weighs more than the giant squid, the giant squid thumps the great white in length.
Great White SharkGiant Squid
SizeWeight: 2,000 to 5,000 pounds
Length: 18 to 26 feet long
Weight: Up to 600 pounds
Length: 30 to 40 feet long
Speed and Movement– 15 mph to 25 mph
– The body and tail move in a wavy, side-to-side fashion.
– Around 25 mph
– Utilizes jet propulsion to move
Defenses– Excellent senses that assist in locating or avoiding animals– Produces dark, black ink to form a smoke screen for escape
Offensive CapabilitiesBite Power: 4000 PSI
– The first row has about 50 teeth used for biting, but there are 300 teeth overall.
– Causes horrendous wounds to prey using size, speed, and raw power.
– Razor-sharp teeth on the tongue and a jagged beak
– Generate suction forces of at least 100 pounds per square inch or 800 kilopascals.

What Are the Key Differences Between a Great White Shark and a Giant Squid?

The anatomy and size of a great white shark and a giant squid are their most notable differences. The great white shark is a large, cartilaginous fish that can expand over 20 feet long and can be as heavy as 5,000 pounds. It has a slanted head, a firm dark gray body with a white belly, and tail fins that are of equal size. Meanwhile, a giant squid is a large invertebrate with a maximum size of 40 feet and a weight of 600 pounds. Despite how drastically these animals differ from one another, other factors also play a role in this battle.

What Are the Key Factors in a Fight Between a Great White Shark and a Giant Squid?

Physical prowess is the deciding factor in any battle between a great white shark and a giant squid. To keep the fight fair, we’ll make the assumption that these two are in a territory with a pressure level that won’t instantly kill the giant squid. Since these two creatures hunt and kill in such drastically different manners, we have to be precise and consider which animal has the greatest speed, size, attack, and defense advantages.

Great White Shark vs. Giant Squid: Size

great white shark

Great white sharks can grow up to 26 feet long.

©Sergey Uryadnikov/Shutterstock.com

It would be a bit heartbreaking to witness (and one I would not get close to) a great white shark clash with a giant squid; the former can grow to be 26 feet long and weigh up to 5,000 pounds, while the latter can be 40 feet in length and a maximum weight of 600 pounds.

With its length, the giant squid would have more room to attack the great white shark with its long tentacles from a distance.

The giant squid has the advantage here.

Great White Shark vs. Giant Squid: Speed and Movement

Compared to the giant squid, great white sharks are known to move slightly faster. Great white sharks have top swimming speeds reaching 15 to 25 mph while submerged, with short bursts of 35 mph. A giant squid can move at about 25 mph, almost as quickly as they can swim in surface waters.

The great white shark is faster.

Great White Shark vs. Giant Squid: Defenses

The great white shark keeps itself safe in ocean waters by using its size, speed, and senses. Its ampullae of Lorenzini, which enable it to detect electric pulses in its prey, are usually able to tell if something is nearby. Meanwhile, the squid’s primary defense is thick, black ink that can make a smoke screen. This ink momentarily disorients predators, giving the squid valuable time to try to flee. Additionally, the squid can lose 10 body parts before it is unable to protect itself, while the shark should maintain all of its appendages, or it will end up dead.

The giant squid defenses beat those of the great white.

Great White Shark vs. Giant Squid: Offensive Capabilities

Giant Humboldt Squid on a fishing boat.

Giant squids can weigh up to 600 pounds!


The great white shark is among the handful of animals in the world, with a bite as powerful as its estimated 4,000 PSI. The shark’s lengthy teeth, reaching up to 4 inches long and 2 inches wide, improve its chomp. A great white shark’s mouth contains over 300 sharp, serrated teeth, making a bite from one instantly lethal.

You’ve probably never considered squid a real threat to a large animal, but you’ve never witnessed a giant squid combat. The squid must only bind once to the shark and deliver a single bite with its beak. With its sharp suction cups, the squid could hold onto the shark and eventually pierce its body; the shark would sustain severe bodily injury or end up losing a fin. The shark will perish in either circumstance, either from bleeding out or from drowning. If the squid attaches (and it has several chances to do so), the shark would have little chance of surviving.

The giant squid has better offensive capabilities.

Who Would Win in a Fight Between a Great White Shark and a Giant Squid?

The squid would emerge as the winner and the sea’s deadliest creature. We will likely never be able to document this great battle on camera because giant squid are so elusive. The available evidence, however, reveals that a truly enormous squid left humongous tentacle scars on a large oceanic whitetip shark in 2020.

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The photo featured at the top of this post is © Ramon Carretero/Shutterstock.com

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  1. Jon D.B., Available here: https://outsider.com/outdoors/great-white-shark-vs-giant-squid-whos-winning/
  2. Jackson M. Meade, Available here: https://theoakdalepost.com/feature/animal-kingdom-smackdown-giant-squid-v-great-white-shark/