Giant squid—magnificent sea creatures that once inspired myths of the kraken and other fearsome monsters—usually dwell some 900 meters below sea level. So it was a surprise to onlookers in central Japan last week when one giant squid shimmied its way up to the water’s surface for a rare tour of a local marina.
“It was the first time that we saw a live giant squid here, where water depth is only about 2.5 to 3 meters,” said Tatsuya Wakasugi, a manager at Toyama Bay, where the animal surfaced on Dec. 24. The 12-foot (3.7 meter) squid spent several hours gliding under fisherman’s boats and drawing spectators’ attention.
Diver Akinobu Kimura, owner of Diving Shop Kaiyu in Toyama, swam alongside the creature with a submersible camera. ”This squid was not damaged and looked lively, spurting ink and trying to entangle his tentacles around me,” Kimura told CNN.
Japan’s ANN News also has footage from another angle:
It’s the first squid that has appeared in Toyama Bay this season, not including the dozen or so that were caught dead in fishing nets earlier this year. Only a few hundred squid have ever been spotted in the world.