Giant Squid found swimming in Japanese harbor

The creature looked to be sickly and dying.

Craig Hall | Jan 25, 2016

Scientists near Toyama Bay in Japan sure got a surprise recently: a live giant squid.

The extremely rare squid, which was only first photographed in the wild in 2004 and videotaped just a few years ago, swam around the bay long enough for expert divers to take a submersible camera and film the creature, according to a UPI report.

Unfortunately, the very fact that it was there was probably bad news: observers noted that it appeared sickly, swimming weakly and pointing downward. Eventually it disappeared, but probably didn't have much longer to live.

Giant squid are aptly named. They can grow up to 43 feet in length, and are the stuff of legends. This giant squid wasn't quite up to the measure, as it only came in at about 12 feet.

It is so extremely rare to see giant squid because they almost never emerge from deep beneath the surface of the ocean. They only seem to surface when they are sickly and dying. Until 2004 when one was photographed in the wild, only dead specimens of giant squid had been discovered. It wasn't until 2013 that the first ever video emerged of a giant squid living in the wild.

Giant squid are believed to be the preferred food of sperm whales. Scientists have observed sperm whales with sucker marks all over its body, indicating that there must be great deep sea battles between these two creatures way beneath the waves on a regular basis.

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