Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 22nd, 2006
It is all over the televised news channels and wire services: The National Science Museum of Japan has videotaped a giant squid (Architeuthis) live – perhaps for the first time. It was a modest giant, about 21 feet (seven meters) in length, a young female; older giant squids can be around 55 feet (18 meters) long. One specimen found on a New Zealand beach in 1880, reportedly, was 65 feet in length, with 40 feet of that being tentacles.
The Associated Press is alerting news organizations that the event took place on December 4, 2006, off the Ogasawara Islands, near the remote island of Chichijima, southeast of Tokyo, Japan.
The research team, led by Tsunemi Kubodera, taped the squid’s struggle with bait, but Architeuthis died before it was pulled onboard.
CNN has the video on their site at: Researchers catch giant squid.
"We believe this is the first time anyone has successfully filmed a giant squid that was alive," said Kubodera, a researcher with Japan’s National Science Museum. "Now that we know where to find them, we think we can be more successful at studying them in the future."
Kubodera says that what the team succeeded in doing last year was take a series of still photos of one of the animals in its natural habitat — also believed to have been a first.
Sequences of photographs of a live giant squid last year; live footage this year. See #2, here:
The giant squid was the monster, which was just on the edge of being discovered, that appeared in Jules Verne’s 1870 novel, Vingt mille lieues sous les mers – (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea). The novel was adapted many times as a movie, perhaps the most famous being a 1954 Walt Disney production with James Mason as Captain Nemo, entitled 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (below), and later as a made-for-TV movie with Michael Caine as the captain. The star of both movies, however, definitely was the giant squid.