A team led by Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) has shot the first videos of the elusive giant squid, the largest invertebrate on the planet, in its natural environment.
Dubbed the “monsters of the sea,” giant squid can grow up to 18 meters (60 feet) in length. Little is known of the massive creature's ecology as they live in the deepest depths of the ocean.
Although photos of giant squid have been taken deep underwater, this was the first time that videos have caught one in action in its normal habitat, NHK said.
The public broadcaster said the first videos were shot in July last year at a depth of 630 meters in waters east of Chichijima island, part of the Ogasawara chain south of Tokyo. The endeavor was a joint international project carried out by NHK and other broadcasting companies.
The giant squid captured in the videos measured about 3 meters long, but its two longest tentacles were missing. It was estimated to be 7 to 8 meters long if it had had both of them.
NHK said it sent a manned submersible into the deep 100 times and captured the squid on video on several dives by using an ultrasensitive camera capable of recording high-definition movies. The camera was developed specifically to take videos in deep water.
“The giant squid was so beautiful that it seemed to sparkle,” said Tsunemi Kubodera, an expert on cephalopods at the National Museum of Nature and Science, who was aboard the submersible.
The videos will be broadcast on the evening of Jan. 13 in the “NHK Special” program.
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