Giant squid are rare and mysterious creatures that play a huge part in seafaring legends and folklore. Footage and pictures of these huge monstrous molluscs have been captured before, but not in their natural habitat – which is deep down in the unexplored depths of the ocean and often the creatures on film are dead and have floated up to the surface.
Now a team of scientists and broadcasters from Japan’s National Science Museum, the U.S. Discovery Channel and Japanese public broadcaster NHK, claim to have captured footage of the elusive and mysterious giant squid along the depths of the Pacific Ocean, 9 miles east of Chica Island.
They have released photographs of the huge creature which is silver in hue and has big black eyes. Researchers said that it’s 2 longest arms were missing, but with them, they believed that the creature was somewhere in the region of 8 meters long (26 feet) – that is twice the size of the dead giant squid that was captured on video by fishing columnist Al McGlashan off the coast of Tasmania last year.
The team managed to obtain the footage after approximately 100 missions, accumulating to more than 400 hours spent in a cramped submarine. They filmed the specimen (which without its missing arms was estimated to be in the region of 3 meters) at the depth of 630 meters. They followed it down to around 900 meters before it disappeared from sight into an ocean abyss.
Museum researcher Tsunemi Kubodera said the footage represented a lengthy quest for the beast, he said;
“It was shining and so beautiful…I was so thrilled when I saw it first hand, but I was confident we would because we rigorously researched the areas we might find it, based on past data.”
Kubodera, a squid expert, claims that this is the first footage of a squid in its natural habitat, he had previously filmed a creature from his boat in 2006, but only after it was hooked and brought up to the surface.
“Researchers around the world have tried to film giant squid in their natural habitats, but all attempts were in vain before…With this footage we hope to discover more about the life of the species.”
The team’s findings and elusive footage will be shown in Discovery Channel program “Monster Squid: The Giant Is Real” which airs on Sunday 27th January.