(Photo : NHK/NEP/Discovery Channel)
It has eluded video capture until now, but the giant squid has finally been recorded on film by Japanese public broadcaster NHK the Discovery Channel. While the squid has been captured before, this is the first footage of the squid in its element underwater.
A three-man team spent hundreds of hours in a submersible vehicle before they finally spotted a giant squid around 2,000 feet down offshore the Chichi-jima Island in the Northeast Pacific Ocean. The team followed the creeping squid down to a depth of 3,000 feet, and was able to capture video of the squid attacking the bait before hooking the squid for measurement. While it's certainly no Kraken, the squid's eerie coloring and methodical movements still invoke a sense of wonder.
Tsunemi Kubodera from Japan's National Science Museum, called it a "shining and so beautiful" moment.
The giant squid was found to be maimed and only around 10 feet long. While the scientists could offer no explanation as to how the maiming of the two long tentacles occurred, they did state that at full length, the squid would have measured around 26 feet in length.
U.S. viewers will get a chance to view the full footage when Discovery airs the season finale of Curiosity on Jan. 27 titled "Monster Squid: The Giant is Real."
"When Discovery does natural history it sets the bar high, and this ground breaking project features the very first-ever footage of a live giant squid in its natural habitat," said Eileen O'Neill, Group President of Discovery and TLC Networks. "This latest production, four years in the making, is a world-first achievement for television, and I'm excited to share it."
The giant squid is one of the hardest creatures for scientists to study since it lives at such depths and is often hard to spot. While large, they are outmatched by the colossal squid, which can grow to over 40 feet in length.