Two divers managed to capture extremely unique video footage of one of the world’s most elusive and legendary marine animals on January 6th.
The lucky couple, Yosuke Tanaka and Miki Tanaka, caught a giant squid up close and personally on video while diving off the coast of Toyooka City in Hyogo Prefecture along the shores of Japan.
Their video, which the couple recorded on an underwater camera, gives viewers a crystal-clear view of a relatively small 8-foot-long giant squid floating along placidly close to the surface.
For reference, giant squid can reach up to 14 meters, or 46 feet in length with their tentacles included and are superseded in size among marine cephalopods only slightly by the longer and heavier colossal squid.
The lucky couple happens to run their own diving business out of Toyooka city, so the video they caught and the viral fame it achieved will doubtlessly contribute to boosting bookings.
The footage itself is however entirely and very evidently real, showing the rather mottled, thick-bodied animal gently moving along with its tentacles in the water. This definitely isn’t any sort of CGI or AI-rendered visual creation.
According to the website ScienceAlert, the couple didn’t find the squid entirely by accident. They were first told about its presence in the nearby bay by a local fishing equipment retailer who had already seen the creature.
The two of them then quickly launched their boat and went on a search for the squid. They soon managed to catch up to it floating placidly near the surface near a rocky shore.
According to Yosuke Tanaka in comments to the AFP, “There it was, It was an enormous squid.”
The photographer and experienced diver also noted that “We didn’t see the kinds of agile movements that many fish and marine creatures normally show. Its tentacles and fins were moving very slowly.”
Despite this calm movement, Tanaka mentions that he perceived the squid as an obviously powerful predatory creature:
“I could see its tentacles moving. I thought it would be dangerous to be grabbed hard by them and taken off somewhere,”
He also adds, “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.”
Mr. Tanaka also elaborated that he’s aware of just how rare any video or close encounters with this species are and that he’s happy to have encountered and even filmed it for posterity’s sake.
Giant squid don’t quite reach the dimensions and ferocity often attributed to them in film and literature. However, they are indeed very powerful creatures that can grow to enormous sizes by the standards of their species.
Most of what science knows about giant squid is also very fragmentary, considering their usual deep-water habitat and very elusive nature.
That this particular specimen was caught floating right beneath the waves just off the coast of a large urban area is truly remarkable.