Not to beat a dead squid, but a reasonable question came up in a conversation with one of my labmates today: Who's to say that the Architeuthis collected in the Gulf of Mexico this summer was alive and kicking to begin with?
Scientists assume the rapid ascent through the changing depths caused the squid to die.
But that's only an assumption. The squid certainly doesn't look too good in the pictures. It could have accrued all that damage as a result of being trapped in the net, but it's also plausible that the creature started out injured, sick, or just plain dead. Such factors would also make it much more likely to be captured, since squid are pretty good swimmers, and other species are known to avoid nets with great agility.