The giant squid has been described as one of the most elusive creatures of the sea, and classified as the largest invertebrate on planet Earth. In fact, it wasn’t until 2004 that researchers were ever able to even film one of the massive sea monsters in its natural habitat, and very rarely have they been glimpsed over the years, aside from corpses washing ashore from time to time.
So you can imagine the surprise of one Japanese fisherman, when he unexpectedly netted one of the elusive creatures last week.
The male squid was approximately 26 feet long and weighed 360 pounds. The creature was initially snagged 229 feet below the surface, off the coast of Niigata.
“We were about 30 minutes into our day when this large, reddish-brown thing came swimming up from the depths,” fisherman Shingenori Goto told Reuters. “I was surprised—there’s no other word for it. We all started shouting ‘giant squid, giant squid’ all at once.”
The animal, which died shortly after capture, was taken to a government research institute in Niigata for further study.