Ever wonder what are the longest animals living in the world's oceans? A 60-foot giant squid? No such thing, say scientists. The blue whale? A better guess, but not the longest, they say.
Now a team of researchers has combed through the scientific literature to settle arguments and questions, publishing a list of the top 10 longest marine creatures in the journal Peer J.
"Precise, accurate, and quantified measurements matter at both a philosophical and pragmatic level," says study lead author Craig McClain. "Saying something is approximately 'this big,' while holding your arms out won't cut it, nor will inflating how large some of these animals are."
Without further ado -- or arguments, please -- here are the top ten, starting with Number 10 and working up to the ocean-going winner.
A true marine oddity, the long but thin oarfish, scored eighth place at 26.25 feet.
A giant octopus may not have much in the way of body length, but it can grow amazingly long tentacles, and the largest ever seen measured out at 32.15 feet.
The giant squid. No it doesn't reach 60 feet, but the longest verified length of 39.37 feet isn't too shabby.
We're back to sharks for fifth place, this time the fearsome-looking but actually gentle plankton grazer, the basking shark. These filter feeders can reach 40.25 feet.
A whale of a length (sorry) puts a mammal, the sperm whale, in third place; they've been seen to reach a length of 78.74 feet.
The blue whale raises the question of whether any earthly creatures can match its "leviathan"-worthy length of 109.27 feet long. However, that's only good for second place.
So who's the winner of the marine animal length sweepstakes? Prepare to be surprised; it's a jellyfish.
A gelatinous creature aptly known as the lion's mane jellyfish tops this list courtesy of long tendrils that can hang down into the water as far as 120 feet.