Giant ‘Sea Monster’ Finally Surfaces

12-FOOT SQUID GETS OGLED IN JAPAN’S TOYAMA BAY

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2015 6:17 PM CST

(NEWSER) – Huge sea creatures steeped in ancient lore don’t often hang out by the shore with spectators—but one did in Japan this Christmas Eve. People on a pier in Toyama Bay saw a giant squid swim up near the surface, slip under boats, and tangle harmlessly with a local diver before being ushered out to sea, CNN reports. “My curiosity was way bigger than fear, so I jumped into the water and go close to it,” says diver Akinobu Kimura, who owns a local diving shop. “This squid was not damaged and looked lively, spurting ink and trying to entangle his tentacles around me.” Kimura guided his 12-foot-long visitor (which was capturedby underwater video) several hundred yards from the shore and let it slip away. But this wasn’t Japan’s first encounter with a giant squid.

In fact, the first footage of a giant or Architeuthis squid was revealed by Japan’s National Science Museum in 2013, CBS News reported at the time. A museum team ventured underwater 100 times in a manned submarine to film one with a specialized camera below the reach of light; the squid was seen a third of a mile down. Most giant squids are found dead, or trapped in fishing nets, so a live one in its natural habitat made headlines. Researchers believe they grow up to 43 feet long and inspired the northern European myth of the Kraken sea monster. But how is it they remain so hidden? “We’ve only explored about 5% of our ocean,” says squid expert Edie Widder in a 2013 Ted talk about the giant-squid video. “There are great discoveries to be made down there, fantastic creatures representing millions of years of evolution.” (One man says he knows the Loch Ness Monster’s true identity.)

In this image made from video recorded in the summer of 2012, provided by NHK and Discovery Channel, a giant squid takes bait in the deep sea off Chichi island, Japan.
In this image made from video recorded in the summer of 2012, provided by NHK and Discovery Channel, a giant squid takes bait in the deep sea off Chichi island, Japan.   (AP Photo/ NHK/NEP/Discovery Channel)