If this really is a giant squid, it is a historical and amazing piece of footage.
Giant squid are the stuff of nightmares, at least in the popular imagination, and their deep-sea reclusive nature adds to their air of sinister mystery.
So it would have been quite jarring to see one specimen swimming around Japan’s Toyama Bay on Christmas Eve. And 3.7 m in length, it was quite a bit smaller than the 13 m the species can reach.
Aside from being filmed by a submersible, the squid was seen up close by diver Akinobu Kimura, who got into the water with the animal.
“This squid was not damaged and looked lively, spurting ink and trying to entangle his tentacles around me,” he told CNN. “I guided the squid toward to the ocean, several hundred meters from the area it was found in, and it disappeared into the deep sea.”
As animated as the squid was, however, it may have been in more distress than it appeared. Underwater cameraman Takayoshi Kojima told the BBC its body was pointed downwards and its tentacles upward, a stance he interpreted as a sign of poor health.
Kojima says the squid migrate northward through the year as sea temperatures rise, with most sightings happening in December and January, though the season as a whole runs from November to March.
Yuki Ikushi, the curator of the aquarium in the nearby city of Uozu, told CNN this was the first sighting of the season so far. Last year, 16 giant squid were caught by fishermen’s nets.
SOURCES: BBC | CNN