KEY POINTS

  • Researchers were able to capture a giant squid on film
  • The video was recorded as part of a study funded by NOAA
  • The video is the first footage of a giant squid swimming in U.S. waters

For the first time, a live giant squid was filmed in U.S. waters. The alien-looking creature was captured on film by a team of researchers during an expedition in the Gulf of Mexico.

The expedition, which took place in June of this year, was made possible through the support of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It focused on the effects of light deprivation on deep sea animals that lived over 3,200 feet below the ocean’s surface.

To carry out their incredible study, the researchers sent a probe underwater into the depths of the ocean. They referred to this region as the midnight zone due to the absence of light. After reviewing the footage recorded by the drone, researcher Nathan Robinson, the director of the Cape Eleuthera Institute, witnessed something amazing.

As seen in the video, a giant squid suddenly appeared from the depths of the ocean and approached the probe’s camera. It extended its tentacles to touch the lure attached to the camera known as an e-jelly.

“Nathan started looking at the downloaded videos,” the researchers said in a statement. “He found the usual shrimp and other small animals that we had been seeing on the first four deployments.”

“And then he saw it, a large tubular animal off on the corner of the screen, looking as if it was hunting the e-jelly,” they continued. “The next short video showed the same thing. Then, in the third video, the tubular animal revealed an enormous set of arms and tentacles coming in to attack the e-jelly.”

Although the clip only lasted for a few seconds long, it was regarded by the researchers as important scientific footage. It is the first video to feature a live giant squid swimming in U.S. territory.

For the researchers, they are hoping that their discovery would lead to a better understanding of the nature of giant squids, which were depicted as monstrous creatures in legends and novels.

“We like to feel that science and exploration has brought about this change, making the world less scary and more wondrous with each new thing we learn,” the researchers stated.