The First-Ever Footage of a Giant Squid in its Natural Habitat

Stacy Conradt

Image credit: Discovery Channel

After centuries of hearing sailors’ sea monster tales and finding tentacle-y masses of flesh washed up on shores, scientists have finally managed to capture video of Architeuthis, the elusive giant squid.

It took a three-man team more than 400 hours and 100 sessions in a tiny submarine to finally score footage of the creature in the deep—the really deep. The crew took the video at a depth of nearly a third of a mile beneath the surface of the Pacific just off the coast of Japan.

Though they’re huge—this particular specimen is about 26 feet long—the squid has been hard to get on film because they lurk in waters so deep that researchers have difficulty getting there, staying there, and filming there.

We’ve seen footage of Architeuthis once before, but only after it was caught and brought to the surface. The new documentation marks the first time anyone has seen the giant squid in its natural habitat. Set your DVRs: the groundbreaking video will air on the Discovery Channel January 27.

See a 90-second clip here.