Giant squid filmed in Pacific depths: Japan scientists

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jan 7, 2013 - 15:04
  • Updated : Jan 7, 2013 - 16:12
A giant squid attacking a bait is pulled up by a Japanese research team south of Tokyo, on Dec. 4, 2006. This was the first and only (so far) filming of the giant squid alive. (AP)

Scientists and broadcasters said Monday they have captured footage of an elusive giant squid up to eight meters long that roams the depths of the Pacific Ocean.

Japan‘s National Science Museum succeeded in filming the deep-sea creature in its natural habitat for the first time, working with Japanese public broadcaster NHK and the U.S. Discovery Channel.

They spotted the squid at a depth of 630 meters using a submersible in July, some 15 kilometers east of Chichi island in the north Pacific Ocean.

The submarine with three people on board, including Tsunemi Kubodera from the museum, followed the enormous mollusc to a depth of 900 meters as it swam into the ocean abyss.

NHK showed footage of the silver-colored creature, which had huge black eyes, as it swam against the current, holding a bait squid in its arms against the backdrop of dark oceanic depths.

The creature was about three meters long, but “estimated to be as long as eight meters if its two long arms had not been chopped off”, Kubodera told AFP.

He gave no explanation for its missing arms.

He said it was the first video footage of a live giant squid in its natural habitat -- the depths of the sea where there is little oxygen.

Kobudera, a squid specialist, also filmed what he says was the first live video footage of a giant squid in 2006 but only from his boat after it was hooked and brought up to the surface.

The giant squid, “Architeuthis” to scientists, is sometimes described as one of the last mysteries of the ocean, being part of a world so hostile to humans that it has been little explored. (AFP)

<관련 한글 기사>

'마지막 미스터리' 초거대 오징어 발견!

과학자들이 방송국과의 공조 끝에 태평양을 떠돌던 초거대 오징어의 모습을 촬영하는데 성공했다고 월요일 밝혔다.

일본국립과학박물관은 일본 NHK와 미국 디스커버리 채널과의 협력작업 끝에 태평양 심해에 살고 있는 몸 길이 8미터짜리 초거대 오징어의 서식지를 촬영하는데 성공했다고 전했다.

연구진은 지난 7월 태평양 북부 치치섬 인근 630미터 심해에서 거대 오징어를 발견한 후 연구에 착수해왔다.박물관 관계자 츠네미 쿠보데라를 포함한 탐사대 3인은 잠수함을 이용해 해저 900미터까지 내려간 후 촬영작업을 진행했다.

NHK에서는 은빛의 몸체와 검은색의 거대한 눈을 지닌 이 생명체의 영상을 방송했다. 쿠보데라는 AFP에 “최대 몸길이는 8미터 이상일 것”이라고 밝혔다.

쿠보데라에 따르면 산소가 희박한 심해 900미터 지점에까지 내려가 거대오징어의 서식지를 촬영한 것은 이번이 처음이다.

과학자들 사이에서 ‘거대오징어(Architeuthis)’로 명명되는 이 생명체는 인간의 손길이 미치지 않은 심해 영역에 남아있는 바다의 마지막 미스터리들 가운데 하나로 알려져 있다. (코리아헤럴드)