Divers Capture Rare Footage of Live Giant Squid in Japan

A pair of divers captured the moment they came face-to-face with a giant squid — which are rarely seen alive by humans.

Yosuke Tanaka and Miki Tanaka filmed their close-up encounter with the huge creature when they were diving off the coast of Toyooka City in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan on January 6.

The footage, which was recorded on the couple’s underwater camera, shows the 8-foot-long squid floating in the waters.

‘Nothing Rarer Than This’

ScienceAlert reports that the couple who operate a diving business in Toyooka city in the Hyogo region, were told about the giant squid by a fishing equipment vendor who had seen it in a bay.

The pair decided to take their boat out to get a glimpse of the creator as it floated near a rocky shoreline.

“There it was. It was an enormous squid,” Yosuke Tanaka tells AFP.

“We didn’t see the kinds of agile movements that many fish and marine creatures normally show,” he adds. “Its tentacles and fins were moving very slowly.”

However, Tanaka says that he could see that the squid was a powerful predator.

“I could see its tentacles moving. I thought it would be dangerous to be grabbed hard by them and taken off somewhere,” he recalls.

“We swam together and took pictures. I was so happy that the squid was within my reach but its eyes were so big. It was so big that I started to feel scared.”

Tanaka says that his experience with the giant squad was a memorable one.

“It was very exciting. I think there is nothing rarer than this,” he explains. “I have heard not a lot is known about this creature. I’d be happy if this helps us learn more.”

Elusive Giants

According to National Geographic, the giant squid remains largely a mystery to scientists despite being the biggest invertebrate on Earth. The largest giant squid measured 59 feet in length and weighed nearly a ton.

Giant squid are known to live in the waters around Japan, and occasionally wash ashore.

Seeing them alive in the wild remains very rare. Giant squid are scarcely known to leave the deep sea and swim along the coast.

Their inhospitable deep-sea habitat has made them extremely difficult to study, and almost everything scientists know about giant squid is from carcasses that have washed up on beaches or been hauled in by fishermen.

Image credits: Feature photo sourced via YouTube/Science Alert.