One of the almost mythical giant squid was recently caught in a net just off Japan. A 4 meter-long (13.1 feet) “daio ika” giant squid has been found entangled inside a fisherman’s net off Sadogashima island, Niigata Prefecture, marking one of the very rare times this almost invisible animal has been caught and brought to the surface.
The net belonged to Shigenori Goto, a fisherman who set up his net to catch yellowtails, or Japanese amberjacks. Goto found the squid Wednesday morning at around 7:00 AM, swimming in his net made specifically for catching yellowtails, which he submerged to around 70 meters deep, around 1 kilometer off the nearest port. Goto said that the squid died after being brought to the surface. “When I hauled up the net, the squid slowly came floating up,” Goto said. “This is the first time I’ve seen such a large squid.” Researchers from the marine research institute in the prefecture said that it was extremely rare for a live giant squid to be brought to the surface. These giant squid are creatures normally of the very deep sea, and are among the largest invertebrates in the world.
These animals were so elusive that until just recently, some have strongly suggested that they did not really exist. In 2006, videos were taken of the animal, increasing awareness about them. The largest giant squid officially recorded was around 43 feet long, and weighed nearly a ton. Rumors have circulated of another giant squid up to 66 feet long. This one caught off Niigata Prefecture weighed around 163 kilograms (359 pounds).
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