si-giantsquid-discovery

Japanese researcher Tsunemi Kubodera shot 400 hours of video in order to capture the giant squid deep in its natural habitat. (NHK/NEP/Discovery Channel)

A team from Japan’s National Science Museum has captured what’s considered the first ever film footage of a giant squid in its natural habitat, about 900 metres below sea level.

In conjunction with broadcasters NHK and the U.S. Discovery Channel, the team said it discovered the elusive creature in July, in the watery depths 15 kilometres east of Chichi island in the north Pacific Ocean.

"It was shining and so beautiful," Tsunemi Kubodera, one of three people in a submersible that tracked the creature, told AFP.

Footage reportedly shows a silver-coloured, three-metre long creature with huge black eyes, grasping another smaller squid in its tentacles.

The giant squid, with its teeth-lined suckers, tends to keep out of the public eye with its stealth-like abilities. Kubodera has some 2006 video footage that was shot from a boat after a giant squid was caught and brought to the surface.

In 2012, the squid specialist decided to team up with Japan’s public broadcaster and the Discovery Channel to find, track and film the creature in its natural habitat.

The team collected more than 400 hours of footage in their 100 missions in order to finally film the creature — in the same area as Kubodera 2006 sighting, located about 1,000 kilometres south of Tokyo.

"All attempts were in vain before," said Kubodera. "With this footage we hope to discover more about the life of the species."

The giant squid, which can grow up to 10 metres, tends to lurk in the deep parts of the ocean which have not been explored very much by humans.

Discovery Channel’s Monster Squid: The Giant Is Real, premieres on Sunday, Jan. 27 as part of its Curiosity series, which is also shown in Canada.