Incredible footage shows diver swimming with giant squid alongside Japanese dock

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 December, 2015, 8:25am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 June, 2016, 12:45pm

Video footage has captured an unprecedented encounter between a live giant squid and a diver after the creature was spotted swimming next to a dock in Japan’s Toyama Bay.

Giant squid are almost never seen alive. But the 4-metre specimen was spotted alongside the dock in the central Japanese port city on Christmas Eve, treating onlookers to a rare sighting.

WATCH: Unprecedented encounter with giant squid in Toyama, Japan

Japan seems to be the place to find these near-mythic beasts: The first-ever images of a giant squid in the wild were snapped off the coast of the Ogasawara Islands in 2004, and the first film of a living adult came from the same area in 2012.

One intrepid diver had a close encounter with the real-life sea monster.

“My curiosity was way bigger than fear, so I jumped into the water and go close to it,” Akinobu Kimura told CNN. “This squid was not damaged and looked lively, spurting ink and trying to entangle his tentacles around me. I guided the squid toward to the ocean, several hundred metres from the area it was found in, and it disappeared into the deep sea.”

It may seem massive, but the squid seen in the Toyama footage is probably quite young. Scientists used to think that the giant squid, Architeuthis dux, could grow over 20 metres long, but a recent study of the available literature found no evidence to support this. In fact, since most of the giant squid seen by humans have been long-dead specimens, it’s quite plausible that they might have stretched out as their tissues weakened.

But even at 13-14 metres long, the creature is one of the most impressive in the seas.

Architeuthis dux may be the longest squid in the sea but the colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) is certainly the biggest known species in terms of mass. Scientists dissected a 350kg colossal squid back in 2014.