Giant squid filmed in Pacific depths, Japan scientists report

Jan 07, 2013 by Shingo Ito
Screen grab from footage captured by NHK and Discovery Channel taken in July 2012 shows a giant squid in the sea near Chichi island. The squid was spotted at a depth of 630 meters using a submersible in July, some 15 km east of Chichi island in the north Pacific Ocean.

Scientists and broadcasters said Monday they have captured footage of an elusive giant squid roaming the depths of the Pacific Ocean, showing it in its natural habitat for the first time ever.

Japan's National Science Museum succeeded in filming the deep-sea creature at a depth of more than half a kilometre (a third of a mile) after teaming up with Japanese public broadcaster NHK and the US Discovery Channel.

The massive invertebrate is the stuff of legend, with sightings of a huge ocean-dwelling beast reported by sailors for centuries.

The creature is thought to be the genesis of the Nordic legend of Kraken, a sea monster believed to have attacked ships in waters off Scandinavia over the last millennium.

Modern-day scientists on their own Moby Dick-style search used a submersible to descend to the dark and cold depths of the northern Pacific Ocean, where at around 630 metres (2,066 feet) they managed to film a three-metre specimen.

After around 100 missions, during which they spent 400 hours in the cramped submarine, the three-man crew tracked the creature from a spot some 15 kilometres (nine miles) east of Chichi island in the north Pacific.

Museum researcher Tsunemi Kubodera said they followed the enormous mollusc to a depth of 900 metres as it swam into the ocean abyss.

Graphic fact file on the giant squid. Scientists say they have succeeded in filming the elusive deep-sea creature in its habitat for the first time.

NHK showed footage of the silver-coloured creature, which had huge black eyes, as it swam against the current, holding a bait squid in its arms.

For Kubodera it was the culmination of a lengthy quest for the beast.

"It was shining and so beautiful," Kubodera told AFP. "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 said the creature had its two longest arms missing, and estimated it would have been eight metres long if it had been whole. He gave no explanation for its missing arms.

He said it was the first video footage of a live giant squid in its natural habitat—the depths of the sea where there is little oxygen and the weight of the water above exerts enormous pressure.

Screen grab from footage captured by NHK and Discovery Channel in July 2012 shows a giant squid holding a bait squid in its arms in the sea near Chichi island. Scientists used a submersible to get them into the depths of the Pacific Ocean, where at around 630 metres they managed to film the giant squid.

Kubodera, a squid specialist, also filmed what he says was the first live video footage of a giant squid in 2006, but only from his boat 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," Kubodera said.

"With this footage we hope to discover more about the life of the species," he said, adding that he planned to publish his findings soon.

Kubodera said the two successful sightings of the squid—in 2012 and 2006—were both in the same area, some 1,000 kilometres south of Tokyo, suggesting it could be a major habitat for the species.

The giant squid, "Architeuthis" to scientists, is sometimes described as one of the last mysteries of the ocean, being part of a world so hostile to humans that it has been little explored.

Researchers say Architeuthis eats other types of squid and grenadier, a species of fish that lives in the deep ocean. They say it can grow to be longer than 10 metres.

NHK said it and the Discovery Channel are scheduled to air special documentaries on the find later this month.

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User comments : 37

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Sinister1811
2.1 / 5 (14) Jan 07, 2013
Remarkable! Such an elusive animal.
BradynStanaway
2.6 / 5 (10) Jan 07, 2013
Looks like a rendered 3D model..
EBENEZR
2.5 / 5 (13) Jan 07, 2013
Beautiful things, cephalopods.
Quasi_Intellectual
3.1 / 5 (11) Jan 07, 2013

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!
Goldenkirby
1 / 5 (9) Jan 07, 2013
k
antialias_physorg
4.4 / 5 (7) Jan 07, 2013
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

Nah. This one's awake.
dmd53
3.9 / 5 (8) Jan 07, 2013
Now we just need a few hundred gallons of lemon aioli and the world's largest deep fryer....
Valentiinro
3 / 5 (6) Jan 07, 2013
Looks like a rendered 3D model..


Which says something awesome about our 3d modeling capabilities, ey?

Anyway physorg, y u no link to video? I would love to see the thing in motion.
psanford
4 / 5 (4) Jan 07, 2013
Mollusk would be spelled with a K if it were a mollusk. But it's a
cephalopod.
mike_alan_10
3.5 / 5 (4) Jan 07, 2013
So they film a giant squid for the first time and they show us a still life photo. OY VEY
TomD
5 / 5 (3) Jan 07, 2013
"Mankind finally confronts the greatest mystery of the deep as the first-ever footage of a live giant squid in its natural habitat is revealed in Discovery Channel's Monster Squid: The Giant Is Real, which premieres on Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 10/9c as the season finale of Curiosity. NHK will air their special on the first-ever footage of the giant squid in early January 2013"
(from http://dsc.discov...ime.html )
ckirmser
1 / 5 (4) Jan 07, 2013

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!


I'm keeping my Star Stone nearby, just in case...
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Jan 07, 2013
Here's a video. Unfortunately it looks like someone captured it from TV with a handheld (FFS, why?)

http://www.youtub..._k4RCMZo
jake_owens_104855
4.3 / 5 (8) Jan 07, 2013
Mollusk would be spelled with a K if it were a mollusk. But it's a
cephalopod.


mollusc can be spelled with a "c" or "k". and cephalopod is a Class. mollusc is the Phylum. enjoy your day.
choicelord
1 / 5 (8) Jan 07, 2013
I for one say, all hail our new giant Cephalopod overlords.
minty_fresh_9
1.3 / 5 (12) Jan 07, 2013
Did the researchers find the giant Jaguar Shark that killed my partner Esteban?
helfrich_roth
2.3 / 5 (6) Jan 07, 2013
Did the researchers find the giant Jaguar Shark that killed my partner Esteban?

Why? what do you want to do with it? kill it? what scientific purpose would that serve?
minty_fresh_9
1.7 / 5 (12) Jan 07, 2013
Did the researchers find the giant Jaguar Shark that killed my partner Esteban?

Why? what do you want to do with it? kill it? what scientific purpose would that serve?


Revenge.

:-)
harold_felton_946
1 / 5 (10) Jan 07, 2013
Next, the team will turn its attention to Nessie and the Abonminable Snowman.
Phil Haberkorn in Indiana
1.4 / 5 (11) Jan 07, 2013
What's the big deal? Admiral Nelson and Captain Crane had to deal with this critter on the USS Seaview back in the 60's.....
mia73
1 / 5 (7) Jan 07, 2013
There's no scale. So its a several foot Humboldt squid eating a bait squid? Or a piece of fish? Not convinced.
tccka6
1.5 / 5 (6) Jan 07, 2013
they found the infamous sasquid
Slashragequit
1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 07, 2013
Mollusk would be spelled with a K if it were a mollusk. But it's a
cephalopod.


Yeah in the same way humans are primates, not mammals.
charlesaustin_miller
3.2 / 5 (5) Jan 08, 2013
What's more awesome to contemplate is that we've only seen and documented about 10% of ocean life. Marine biologists are convinced that 90% of all ocean life is still undiscovered, a complete mystery to us.
charlesaustin_miller
4.3 / 5 (4) Jan 08, 2013
And, yes, humans are mammals. Primates are mammals. Porpoises and whales are mammals.
grondilu
2.8 / 5 (4) Jan 08, 2013
Japanese people fascinated by giant tentacles. Reminds me of something...
Sinister1811
1.7 / 5 (11) Jan 08, 2013
Mollusk would be spelled with a K if it were a mollusk. But it's a cephalopod.


Cephalopods ARE molluscs.

Yeah in the same way humans are primates, not mammals.


Primates ARE mammals.

And why do people feel the need to compare it to Bigfoot, or the Lochness Monster? This is an actual animal, well documented, just never filmed or photographed.
Sinister1811
1.3 / 5 (12) Jan 08, 2013
But yeah, you'd think they would include actual footage.
Henka
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 08, 2013
How long before the uncivilised Japanese start hunting them for "research" the way they do whales... Interesting how "research" always ends up on dinner tables.

Liars.
richard_stillman_712
5 / 5 (2) Jan 08, 2013
The video made it feel like I was right there.
EBENEZR
1.3 / 5 (11) Jan 10, 2013
Yeah in the same way humans are primates, not mammals.


Primates ARE mammals.


I think Slash was being facetious... that's what I got from it anyway.

Like many words, one spelling (mollusk) is used in North America, and the other (mollusc) is used everywhere else, aside from the rare occasions where people have learnt English from an American without the teacher explaining who primarily uses the spelling with a k.
Claudius
1.3 / 5 (13) Jan 10, 2013
How long before the uncivilised Japanese start hunting them for "research" the way they do whales... Interesting how "research" always ends up on dinner tables.

Liars.


Think of all the sushi a giant squid could provide!
HeloMenelo
1.3 / 5 (13) Jan 13, 2013
How long before the uncivilised Japanese start hunting them for "research" the way they do whales... Interesting how "research" always ends up on dinner tables.

Agreed they should be left alone ! ! !
BSD
1 / 5 (11) Jan 13, 2013
Why didn't the Japanese feel the need to kill giant squid for "research purposes" like they do with whales?
Landrew
1 / 5 (1) Jan 13, 2013
But alas, the search for Godzilla continues...
LarryD
1 / 5 (1) Jan 14, 2013

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

Man, if this was H.P. Lovecraft's dream...wow, some dream! Or maybe he had it for lunch. Didn't the Klingons eat these? Boy the Borg would a hell of time simulating that one.
Seriously though, both American and British News have clips of the video on youtube.
LarryD
not rated yet Jan 14, 2013
Yeah, I know. The Borg 'Assimilate'.