Giant squid filmed in Pacific depths, Japan scientists report

by Shingo Ito

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 m (2,066 ft) 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 km (9 mi) east of Chichi island in the north Pacific.

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

(read more: PhysOrg)                              (image: NHK/Discovery Channel)

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