The Kraken, seen for the first time in its habitat!

By February 28, 2013Ocean News

A month ago, researchers from a joint expedition by Japanese public broadcaster NHK, Discovery Channel and Japan’s National Museum of Nature and Science, announced an amazing discovery. Last July they filmed, for the first time ever, a giant squid in its natural habitat! After about 100 missions, and 400 hours being in the deep ocean, the crew from the submarine finally spotted the creature 15km (9 miles) east of Chichi Island in the north Pacific Ocean.

Still image taken from video shows a giant squid near Ogasawara islands

This kind of squid, from the genus Architeuthis could be the inspiration for the Scandinavian myth called the Kraken. It was a 3 meters (9 foot) long squid, and they followed the invertebrate to a depth of 900 meters as it swam into the ocean abyss. According to the footage, it was silver colored, with huge eyes and a little bit shinny. Seeing that creature in the deep dark ocean could be an amazing show! The animal didn’t have its two tentacles (the two longest “arms” you can see in a squid are the tentacles), so it could be at least 8 meters long with them!

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The giant squid is often spotted stranded in beaches all around the world, or after being hooked. The reason is because it’s really difficult for humans to explore the deep part of the ocean they live in. A depth of 900 meters can have a pressure of about 90 bar. Maybe this data could mean anything to you, but if I tell you that your pressure cooker can stand 5bar, you will have an idea of what a giant squid stands! And you have to add the little amount of oxygen available there, and that there’s no light at all since the first 400 meters! Kubodera, one of the researchers, has a lot of experience with giant squid encounters, and 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.”

Discovery Channel aired its documentary about the giant squid video on January 27th, and if you’re from the U.S.A. you’ll be able to watch it here. If you’re not, and it’s not avaible at your location, you can watch it here.

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Join the discussion One Comment

  • Hector R. Leta says:

    It is a great news to know that finally this giant creature was filmed alive while swimming to the depth. I remember there was a TV program in the seventies called “Those amazing animals” I had the chance to watch the one about “The giant squid” and the comments of a well known researcher upon the subject Dr. Alfred Aldrich. He showed a big jigg made out of fiberglass with which he pretended to catch such a creature!. In 1981 while I was in Newfoundland in a fellowship sponsored by the FAO and Fisheries and Oceans y had the chance to see the Architeuthis they have preserved in a huge tank. That was my first close encounter with the species. Short after I had the chance to met Dr. Aldrich as he was the Dean of Graduates of the University of Newfoundland. Later on I was invited to a lab in Loogy Bay where his students were carrying out different researches. And WOW there it was… the big jigg of Dr. Aldrich! To catch a giant squid was one of the dreams of Dr. Albert Aldrich. I believe he would be very glad to know that someone else could fulfill his dream if he were alive even though it was caught with a TV camera. In the seventies one could not think of a different method to catch a squid rather than a trawl or a giant jigg. Fortunately fourty some years later we are diving deep enough to whatch these amazing creatures swimming right in their environment!

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