Wednesday 30 December 2015

Rare encounter with giant squid caught on video in Japan

DECEMBER 29, 2015

by Chuck Bednar

A fisherman at one Japanese marina got quite a surprise as he prepared to cast off on Thursday morning, spotting a rare 12-foot giant squid swimming beneath boats docked at the facility, and best of all, the entire incident was caught on video.

According to the Wall Street Journal and the Daily Mail, the encounter occurred at Mizuhashi Fisherina in Toyama prefecture, located approximately 250 kilometers northwest of Tokyo, and featured a 3.7 meter (12.1 foot), orange-and-white colored Architeuthis squid.

“It was the first time that we saw a live giant squid here, where water depth is only about 2.5 to 3 meters,” marina manager Tatsuya Wakasugi told the Journal. While he noted that more than a dozen giant squids had been captured in the Toyama Bay this year, all of them had already died or were close to death, with the color of their bodies having turned white.

The squid observed on Christmas Eve had a few scratches on its head, Wakasugi said. While it is unclear why it originally wandered into the marina, as sea and weather conditions were said to be fair, it remained there for several hours and seven swam alongside divers before ultimately being led back out into deeper waters.

Not the biggest squid out there, but impressive nonetheless

The creature was identified as a rare Architeuthis squid after the video of it was posted on social media, according to the Daily Mail. The newspaper noted that these squids can grow to be up to 13 long, making them the longest known to scientists, and weigh as much as 600 pounds.

While the Architeuthis squid, which typically lives an average of five years and reproduces only once during its lifetime, is the longest known squid, it is not necessarily the biggest, according to the Washington Post. That honor goes to the colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni), which scientists have found to grow as large as 750 kilograms, or 1,650 pounds.

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