The legendary "monster" squid has never been seen alive in the deep sea until now after Japanese scientists revealed on Monday that they managed to capture for the first time footage of a 26 ft giant squid drifting in the depths of the Pacific Ocean.
Scientists say that the video, captured by a team of scientists from Japan's National Science Museum, taken in July 2012 is the first time ever researchers have been able to see a live giant squid in its natural habitat at nearly a third of a mile below the ocean's surface.
The scientists teamed up with Japanese public broadcaster NHK and U.S. Discovery Channel to film the deep-sea creature and successfully spotted the squid at a depth of 630 meters below the ocean surface using a submersible in July, about 9.3 miles or 15 kilometers east of Chichi Island in the north Pacific Ocean, according to AFP.
Giant squids can grow up to 60 feet in length. The squids, commonly dubbed the "monsters of the sea" have previously been found dead on beaches and have been photographed in the ocean and on the ocean surface.
However, scientists have never managed to capture on video the elusive creature alive in its natural habitat deep below the ocean's surface.
For centuries, sailors have reported seeing giant squids, and the massive invertebrate is thought to be the genesis of the Nordic legend of Kraken, a fearsome sea monster believed to have attacked ships in waters off the coasts of Scandinavia over the last thousand years.
In the search of the mythical Kraken modern-day researchers led by Tsunemi Kubodera used a manned submarine and it took 100 missions below the ocean's surface to find the mystical creature. Armed with a specially designed camera that can capture high definition images in deep water, Kubodera and his team managed to film a three-meter squid at around 2,066 feet or 630 meters below the surface of the northern Pacific Ocean.
Kubodera said that they followed the giant squid to a depth of 900 meters or 2,953 feet as it roamed into the ocean abyss.
The film captured the silver-colored creature, which had two enormous black eyes, as it swam against the ocean current, clutching a bait squid in its arms.
"The giant squid was so beautiful that it seemed to sparkle," Kubodera told reporters, according to CBS News. "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."
"Researchers around the world have tried to film giant squid in their natural habitats, but all attempts were in vain before," Kubodera said, according to AFP "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."
The giant squid, called "Architeuthis" by scientists, are predators that hunt deep in the ocean. According to researchers, giant mollusks eat other types of squid and grenadier, a species of fish that lives in the deep ocean waters. Scientists say that Architeuthis can grow to be longer than 33 feet of 10 meters.
Published by Medicaldaily.com