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.
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!
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.