The Giant Squid is an elusive creature that lives in the most of the world’s oceans but is rarely seen. They are deep sea creatures with giant eyes and razor sharp suckers. The existence of giant squids (genus architeuthis) is well accepted by science however only a few have ever been seen. But after numerous dives into the Pacific Ocean, scientists and broadcasters claim they have captured video images of a Giant Squid in its natural habitat for the first time ever.
In July 2012, NHK, the Japanese television company joined forces with The American Discovery Channel for a secret mission to locate and film the legendary creature. They chartered the vessel Alucia owned by American financier Ray Dalio, which has state-of-the-art submersibles also owned by him. The nine foot invertebrate was filmed from a manned submersible called Triton. The NHK released photographs of the creature this week ahead of the Sunday’s show about the encounter. Discovery Channel will air the programme on January 27th. The squid was spotted in waters east of Chichi Island about 1000km south of Tokyo, NHK said. They followed it to a depth of 900 meters.
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Not much is known about the except that it feed of smaller sea creatures, because its harsh environment makes it difficult for scientists to conduct research. According to researchers, specimens have washed ashore on beaches but this is the first time that scientists have filmed one in its natural habitat deep in the ocean. Japanese zoologist, Tsunemi Kubodera lured the giant squid with a one-meter long diamond squid, while the lights of the submersible were turned of. The giant squid took the bait and wrapped its arms around it; eating it for over 20 minutes before letting go. “What we were able to gain from this experience was the moment of the giant squid attacking its prey — we were able record that,” said Kubodera, who has been researching the giant squid since 2002.
A high definition camera was developed for the project that operates deep in the ocean and uses a special wavelength of light invisible to the giant squid’s sensitive eyes. According to Kubodera, scientific research, technology and the right circumstances all came together to make the encounter possible, which will help shed more light on deep sea creatures going forward.
Earlier the creature was spotted on December 4th 2006 during a research mission conducted by Japan’s National Science Museum of which Kubodera was also a part. He released a photograph of the squid attacking its bait while being pulled up by the research team of the Ogasawara Islands, South of Tokyo. However, this is the first time ever that scientists were able to film it in its normal surroundings. After a decade of searching for the Giant Squid, he relished the moment he came face to face with it. He said, “It appeared only once, out of 100 dives. So perhaps, after over 10 years of some kind of relationship I’ve built with the giant squids, I feel, perhaps, it was the squid that came to see me.”