For years giant squids were the closest thing we had to a real-life, underwater Sasquatch. Stories of their gargantuan size littered the tales of ancient seafarers and historian throughout millennia, but sometimes their massive corpses washed up on shores, so we knew they existed as more than the seeming myths they had been for centuries. Then in 2004 mankind finally captured our first images of one alive in Japanese waters. Even then it took eight more years for someone to film one swimming along Japan’s shores. Despite growing to enormous sizes – females can reach 43 feet in length, males 33 feet – they have proven to be among the most elusive creatures on Earth, monsters hiding deep below the surface.
And now researchers have finally captured footage of one swimming in U.S. waters.
This video of the infamous cephalopod, which we first heard about at Popular Science, comes from an NOAA team. On June 19 in the Gulf of Mexico, during only their fifth deployment of their Medusa exploratory deep sea probe, the team recorded a young giant squid, approximately 10-12 feet in length, swimming at the camera in a flurry of tentacles and nightmares/dreams (depending on how you feel about the ocean and its horrifying beasts).
The fact the NOAA team recorded a giant squid after only five deployments is incredible, since as they say “thousands of ROV and submersible dives in the Gulf of Mexico have not done so” previously. But maybe even crazier is half an hour after they did their ship was struck by lightning, and everyone feared the computer with the footage was lost forever. Fortunately it wasn’t damaged and we can all back in the wonder of this creature that seems is just as mysterious even when we can see it, but we can’t rule out Poseidon wasn’t sending a message about getting too close to one of his favored aquatic beings.
Neptune doesn’t have to worry though. If we ever saw this giant squid, let alone a full grown one three times its size, in person, we wouldn’t be in awe of its wonder so much as we’d be terrified of its might.
Imagine how you’d feel if you ever saw a 40-foot Yeti with eight arms swimming.
Featured Image: oceanexplorergov/YouTube