The radar system that was in charge of recognizing submarine threats abruptly failed, forcing the USS Stein, a US Navy frigate, to immediately reroute to its home base in 1978. (US). The large 27,215-kilogram (59,999-pound) dome affixed to the front of the ship’s hull was the suspected location of the flaw, so the Stein made for shore and docked in dry dock so that the engineers could investigate.
But when the engineers looked inside the sonar dome, they discovered something unexpected. According to a Navy magazine at the time, the dome’s rubber “NOFOUL” coating was shredded, with huge tears spanning around 8% of the surface.
The coating was harmed by something of considerable power, with some tears measuring up to “four feet long.” In reality, the majority of the scratches still had large teeth at their bases, and observers said it appeared as though a crowd of alligators had swarmed the important piece of technology.
Navy biologist F.G. Wood was asked to examine the NOFOUL coating in an effort to comprehend the “Stein Monster”. He pointed out that the massive tears were probably the result of the teeth, or claws, located on the dome, showing that they exactly matched the breadth of each. Due to the structure of the teeth, he came to the conclusion that it was a large squid, but he left the door open for other possible sea creatures. The only problem is that a big squid with fangs like these would need to be about 45 meters (150 feet) long, which would be roughly half as long as the Statue of Liberty.
So, Cthulu, the Kraken, or some other legendary abyssal squid—which was it? No, but it was probably a sizable animal. The claws imbedded in the coating resemble those of a colossal squid, which is distinguished from gigantic squids by its larger body size and the size of the huge hooks lining its tentacles. This is one animal you really don’t want to cuddle since it uses its hooks to cling on to prey and they have the power to even tear victims apart.
As they near the end of their lives, squids like these have been observed attaching themselves to sea surface objects, as witnessed in this paddleboarder’s film when a big squid wraps its tentacles around his board.
It’s possible that the potential squid surfaced as it neared death and grabbed hold of the Stein for one last trip. Alternately, sperm whales, their only known predator, have been observed to exhibit markings like a huge squid attack, which would indicate the two species interact aggressively on a frequent basis. The squid may have attacked because it thought Stein’s big dome looked like a whale.
If they had found it, the Stein Monster would have been one of the biggest specimens ever found, whatever it was. Instead, it’s possible that the squid realized it wasn’t quite ready to take on a navy and retreated further into the ocean to continue feasting on the dead sailors who were being taken to their deaths, or whatever else Krakens do.