On December 24, fishermen in Toyama Bay in central Japan spotted the giant squid that was then captured on video by local divers.
Tatsuya Wakasugi, who is the manager of Mizuhashi Fisherina, said that he was very surprised by the new discovery; it was like an early Christmas present. Squids are actually quite common in that area, but the ones found by fishermen are usually dead and tangled in fishing nets.
The first ever footage of Architeuthis dux – the name of giant squid – dates back to 2012. The new video is thus only an early Christmas gift for squid enthusiasts and scientists all over the world.
In folklore, giant squids were said to take down whole ships with the help of their tentacles. Alfred Lord Tennyson, a Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland in the 1800s (during Queen Victoria’s reign), wrote a poem about a giant squid called “The Kraken”. Tennyson envisioned the creature as a harmless one: “His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep/ The Kraken sleepeth.”
Giant squids can reach up to forty-three feet (thirteen metres) for females, and thirty-three feet (ten metres) for males. They tend to swim 2,000 to 3,000 feet (about 609 to 914 metres) below the surface.
The sighting surprised Toyama not only because the squid was alive, but also due to the fact that they usually prefer the deep sea.
According to Akinobu Kimura, the owner of a diving shop, his curiosity was bigger than his fear, so he jumped in the water to see the giant squid with his own eyes. Kimura said that the squid was spurting ink around and looked very lively. However, some said that the giant squid appeared to be injured.
The first photographs of Architeuthis dux were take in 2004. In 2012, a team of researchers used a camera set-up that mimicked the luminescence similar to that of jellyfish, and managed to record the deep-ocean dwelling squid. Edith Widder, a marine biologist, oceanographer, and the chief executive officer (CEO), Co-founder, and Senior Scientist at the Ocean Research & Conservation Association, designed the camera set-up.
Based on the new video, we can only assume that giant squids are in fact pretty harmless toward humans. According to Dr. Widder, when the squids eat they use their beaks to take very small and soft bites out of their prey. The only creatures at risk that need to watch out for Architeuthis dux are the smaller sea creatures.
Image Source: ocean.si.edu