Giant squid live up to their name: the largest giant squid ever recorded by scientists was almost 43 feet (13 meters) long, and may have weighed nearly a ton. You’d think such a huge animal would be hard to miss. But because the ocean is vast and giant squid live deep underwater, they remain elusive and are rarely seen: most of what we know comes from dead carcasses that floated to the surface and were found by fishermen.

But after years of searching, in 2012 a group of scientists from Japan's National Science Museum along with colleagues from Japanese public broadcaster NHK and the Discovery Channel filmed a giant squid in its natural habitat for the first time (video below). The species was first recorded live in 2006, after researchers suspended bait beneath a research vessel off the Ogasawara Islands to try and hook a giant squid. As the camera whirred, the research team pulled a 24-foot (7-meter) squid to the surface alive enabling people around the world to finally see a living, breathing giant squid.

Anatomy, Diversity & Evolution

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Ecology & Behavior

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Squids at the Smithsonian

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Cultural Connections

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Additional Resources

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