Giant squid filmed in Pacific depths

2013-01-07 08:25
This photo shows a giant eyeball from a mysterious sea creature that washed ashore and was found by a man walking the beach in Pompano Beach (Carli Segelson, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, AP)

This photo shows a giant eyeball from a mysterious sea creature that washed ashore and was found by a man walking the beach in Pompano Beach (Carli Segelson, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, AP)

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Tokyo - Scientists and broadcasters said on Monday they have captured footage of an elusive giant squid up to 8m long that roams the depths of the Pacific Ocean.

Japan's National Science Museum succeeded in filming the deep-sea creature in its natural habitat for the first time, working with Japanese public broadcaster NHK and the US Discovery Channel.

They spotted the squid at a depth of 630m using a submersible in July, some 15km east of Chichi island in the north Pacific Ocean.

The submarine with three people on board, including Tsunemi Kubodera from the museum, followed the enormous mollusc to a depth of 900m as it swam into the ocean abyss.

NHK showed footage of the silver-coloured creature, which had huge black eyes, as it swam against the current, holding a bait squid in its arms against the backdrop of dark oceanic depths.

The creature was about 3m long, but "estimated to be as long as eight metres if its two long arms had not been chopped off", Kubodera said.

He gave no explanation for its missing arms.

He said it was the first video footage of a live giant squid in its natural habitat  the depths of the sea where there is little oxygen.

Kobudera, a squid specialist, also filmed what he said was the first live video footage of a giant squid in 2006 but only from his boat after it was hooked and brought up to the surface.

The giant squid, "Architeuthis" to scientists, is sometimes described as one of the last mysteries of the ocean, being part of a world so hostile to humans that it has been little explored.

Read more on:    marine life
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