Close encounter with giant squid in Japan

December 30, 2015 7:19 am

 A diver gets close to the giant squid in Toyama Bay.

A giant squid made its way into ’s Toyama Bay on Christmas Eve,
treating onlookers to a rare sighting of the magnificent creature.
Japan
seems to be the place to find these staggeringly large beasts: The
first-ever images of a giant squid in the wild were snapped off the
coast of the Ogasawara Islands in 2004, and the first film of a living
adult came from the same area in 2012.

CNN reports that one intrepid diver had a close encounter with the real-life sea monster.
“My curiosity was way bigger than fear, so I jumped into the water and go close to it,” Akinobu Kimura told CNN.
“This
squid was not damaged and looked lively, spurting ink and trying to
entangle his tentacles around me. I guided the squid toward to the
ocean, several hundred metres from the area it was found in, and it
disappeared into the deep sea.”

It may seem massive, but the squid is probably young. It’s
estimated to be just over 3.5m long, and giant squid are thought to grow
over three times that size.
Researchers used to think that the
giant squid Architeuthis dux (which is the only species of giant squid,
as far as anyone can tell) could grow over 18m long, but a recent study
of the available literature found no evidence to support this.
In
fact, since most of the giant squid seen by humans have been long-dead
specimens, it’s quite plausible that they might have stretched out as
their tissues weakened. But they have been confirmed to reach about 12m
which is still pretty impressive.
Architeuthis dux may be the
longest squid in the sea but the colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis
hamiltoni) is the biggest in terms of mass.
Scientists dissected a 350kg colossal squid in 2014.

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