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The Giant Squid: Onscreen At Last

The giant squid, recorded for the first time in its natural habitat. We’re looking at the myth and intimate reality of a deep sea marvel.

In this television image made from video recorded in the summer of 2012 provided by NHK and Discovery Channel, a giant squid swims in the deep sea off Chichi island, Japan. (AP/NHK/Discovery Channel)

In this television image made from video recorded in the summer of 2012 provided by NHK and Discovery Channel, a giant squid swims in the deep sea off Chichi island, Japan. (AP/NHK/Discovery Channel)

When it comes to sea monsters and ocean lore, the giant squid ranks right up there. Vast, tentacled, lightening quick, overpowering. Those giant, staring eyes. That great and merciless beak. Those huge suckers.

We’ve seen it in the movies – “20,000 Leagues Beneath the Sea,” “Pirates of the Caribbean.” We’ve found them washed up on the beach. We’ve glimpsed them in still photos. But the first video of the giant squid, in its native habitat, right up on the camera – that’s new.

We’ve got the woman who grabbed it – 3,000 feet down – with us this hour. This hour, On Point: all about the giant squid.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Richard Ellis, author of “The Search For The Giant Squid: The Biology and Mythology of the World’s Most Elusive Sea Creature.” Research associate at the American Museum of Natural History.

Edie Widder, president and senior scientist at the Ocean Research and Conservation Association. She helped shoot the new footage and designed the luminescent lure which attracted the giant squid.

From Tom’s Reading List

Los Angeles Times “For centuries the giant squid has been the stuff of legend, but now, for the first time ever, scientists have collected footage of a giant squid, (Architeuthis), in its natural habitat, thousands of feet below the ocean’s surface. ”

U.S. News and World Report “The giant squid may have been the inspiration for the mythical Kraken, but there exists an even larger tentacled beast in the ocean: the colossal squid, which can reach weights of more than 1,000 pounds. Though the colossal squid is shorter from end to end than the giant squid, its mantle is longer and much heavier.”

CNN “The first ever video footage of a giant squid swimming in the ocean depths is ‘an enormous breakthrough,’ according to a prominent marine conservationist who wrote a book about the quest to find the mysterious creatures.”

Giant Squid Footage (courtesy of the Discovery Channel)

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