TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Giant squid captured on video for first time in ocean depths

REUTERS - A giant squid is seen in this still image taken from video captured from a submersible by a Japanese-led team of scientists near Ogasawara islands taken in July 2012, in this handout picture released by NHK/NEP/Discovery Channel in Tokyo on Jan. 7, 2013. The scientists have captured on film the world's first live images of a giant squid, journeying to the depths of the ocean in search of the mysterious creature thought to have inspired the myth of the 'kraken,' a tentacled monster. Reuters
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>REUTERS</em></div>A giant squid is seen in this still image taken from video captured from a submersible by a Japanese-led team of scientists near Ogasawara islands taken in July 2012, in this handout picture released by NHK/NEP/Discovery Channel in Tokyo on Jan. 7, 2013. The scientists have captured on film the world's first live images of a giant squid, journeying to the depths of the ocean in search of the mysterious creature thought to have inspired the myth of the 'kraken,' a tentacled monster.  Reuters
REUTERS - A video taken in July is the first recorded observation of a giant squid in its natural habitat. Discovery Channel
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>REUTERS</em></div>A video taken in July is the first recorded observation of a giant squid in its natural habitat.          Discovery Channel
By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 7:14 a.m.
 

TOKYO — After years of searching, scientists and broadcasters say they have captured video images of a giant squid in its natural habitat deep in the ocean for the first time.

The three-meter nine-foot invertebrate was filmed from a manned submersible during one of 100 dives in the Pacific last summer in a joint expedition by Japanese public broadcaster NHK, Discovery Channel and Japan's National Museum of Nature and Science.

NHK released photographs of the giant squid this week ahead of Sunday's show about the encounter. The Discovery Channel will air its program on Jan. 27.

The squid, which was inexplicably missing its two longest tentacles, was spotted in waters east of Chichi Island about 600 miles south of Tokyo, NHK said. The crew followed it to a depth of 2,950 feet.

Little is known about the creature because its harsh environment makes it difficult for scientists to conduct research. Specimens have washed ashore on beaches but never before have been filmed in their normal habitat deep in the ocean, researchers say.

Japanese zoologist Tsunemi Kubodera, who was on board the submersible at the time of the encounter, was able to lure the giant squid with a three-foot-long diamond squid.

All the lights from the submersible were turned off while they waited. At a depth of 2,100 feet, the giant squid appeared and wrapped its arms around the bait, eating it for over 20 minutes before letting go.

“What we were able to gain from this experience was the moment of the giant squid attacking its prey — we were able record that,” said Kubodera, who has been researching the giant squid since 2002.

Other scientists involved in the expedition this summer, which logged 400 hours of dives, were American oceanographer and marine biologists Edith Widder and Steve O'Shea from New Zealand.

NHK said a high-definition camera was developed for the project that could operate deep in the ocean and used a special wavelength of light invisible to the giant squid's sensitive eyes.

Kubodera said scientific research, technology and the right lure all came together to make the encounter possible, and that this case will shed more light on deep-sea creatures going forward.

After more than a decade of going out to sea in search of the giant squid, he relished the moment he came face-to-face with it.

“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.”

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. UPMC researcher who died of cyanide poisoning committed suicide
  2. Penguins finally break through, defeat Devils at Prudential Center
  3. Rooney says Pittsburgh is ‘good place’ for next northern Super Bowl
  4. HOF finalist Bettis ‘behind everything’ in 2005 Super Bowl run
  5. Sting highlights demand for Pappy Van Winkle bourbon
  6. Penguins notebook: Bennett a healthy scratch
  7. Serena Williams wins 6th Australian Open for 19th major title
  8. Dungy, Greene represent more Steelers ties in hall of fame voting
  9. Goodell defends league, dodges difficult questions
  10. Wilkinsburg auto dealer scammed at least 30 people, police say
  11. Homework: Pittsburgh Home Show to feature celebs, wine and pets