TOKYO (AP) - After years of searching, scientists and broadcasters say they have captured video images of a giant squid in its natural habitat deep in the ocean for the first time.
The three-meter (nine-foot) invertebrate was filmed from a manned submersible during one of 100 dives in the Pacific last summer in a joint expedition by Japanese public broadcaster NHK, Discovery Channel and Japan's National Museum of Nature and Science.
NHK released photographs of the giant squid this week ahead of Sunday's show about the encounter. The Discovery Channel will air its program on Jan. 27.
The squid, which was inexplicably missing its two longest tentacles, was spotted in waters east of Chichi Island about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) south of Tokyo, NHK said. The crew followed it to a depth of 900 meters (2,950 feet).
Little is known about the creature because its harsh environment makes it difficult for scientists to conduct research. Specimens have washed ashore on beaches but never before have been filmed in their normal habitat deep in the ocean, researchers say.
Japanese zoologist Tsunemi Kubodera, who was on board the submersible at the time of the encounter, was able to lure the giant squid with a one-meter (three-foot) -long diamond squid.
All the lights from the submersible were turned off while they waited. At a depth of 640 meters (2,100 feet), the giant squid appeared and wrapped its arms around the bait, eating it for over 20 minutes before letting go.
"What we were able to gain from this experience was the moment of the giant squid attacking its prey - we were able record that," said Kubodera, who has been researching the giant squid since 2002.
Other scientists involved in the expedition this summer, which logged 400 hours of dives, were American oceanographer and marine biologists Edith Widder and Steve O'Shea from New Zealand.
NHK said a high-definition camera was developed for the project that could operate deep in the ocean and used a special wavelength of light invisible to the giant squid's sensitive eyes.
Kubodera said scientific research, technology and the right lure all came together to make the encounter possible, and that this case will shed more light on deep-sea creatures going forward.
After more than a decade of going out to sea in search of the giant squid, he relished the moment he came face-to-face with it.
"It appeared only once, out of 100 dives. So perhaps, after over 10 years of some kind of relationship I've built with the giant squids, I feel, perhaps, it was the squid that came to see me."
Thursday, May 23 2013 4:21 AM EDT2013-05-23 08:21:05 GMT
Toledo police shot and killed a man with a gun early Thursday morning. Police say officers were patrolling in the 1000 block of Page Street around 12:30 when they saw a man pointing a gun at a woman.More >>
Toledo police shot and killed a man with a gun early Thursday morning.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:12 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:12:46 GMT
We often report stories on the Ohio State Highway Patrol's K-9 unit. The dogs help Troopers find huge quantities of illegal drugs in our region every year. But between the big hits is a lot of hard work,More >>
Ride along as an elite group of four legged crime fighters and their handlers take drugs off Northwest Ohio roads. More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:07 AM EDT2013-05-23 09:07:37 GMT
The picture has been shared over 23,000 times on Facebook. It shows a note pinned to a car. In the note, Facebook user, Jeremy Jon, explains that he took the car owners dog to the Bowling Green PoliceMore >>
Police say viral photo on Facebook is a hoax. Man claimed to save a dog and then posted it on the social network to impress a girl.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:07 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:07:04 GMT
Kassy Widman is a Woodmore High School graduate. She's been living in Moore, Oklahoma for several years with her kids and husband. Monday her world was turned upside down after an EF 5 tornado nearlyMore >>
A Woodmore High School graduate loses everything in the Moore, Oklahoma tornado. Her sister tells 13abc, her twin nephews were among the survivors at Plaza Towers Elementary school where 7 children died.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:18 PM EDT2013-05-23 02:18:14 GMT
Sylvania Township Police are investigating a Missing Person case. 25-year-old Jennifer Webster was last seen Monday in Sylvania Township.Jennifer is 5'1", 150 lbs., with brown hair and blue eyes. She wasMore >>
Sylvania Township say a 25-year-old woman was was reported missing by her mother has been found.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:13 PM EDT2013-05-23 02:13:59 GMT
A cardboard competition was held Wednesday at the Maritime Academy of Toledo! Students were challenged to build boats made with just cardboard, duct tape and glue. Four teams put their vessels to theMore >>
A cardboard competition was held Wednesday at the Maritime Academy of Toledo! Students were challenged to build boats made with just cardboard, duct tape and glue.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:27 PM EDT2013-05-23 00:27:36 GMT
K.C. Collete submitted his resignation as a member of Findlay City Council Wednesday.He did not specify a reason for his departure in his resignation letter, reports 13abc media partner The Toledo Blade.More >>
K.C. Collete submitted his resignation as a member of Findlay City Council Wednesday. Collete was arrested on a petty theft charge over the weekend for allegedly attempting to steal two bottles of vitamins.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 5:42 PM EDT2013-05-22 21:42:15 GMT
A Toledo woman needs your help tonight. Her service dog disappeared late Monday night and is still missing. Robin Reau, 60, has uncontrollable seizures. Seven years ago she got Kaden- a specially trainedMore >>
A Central Toledo woman is looking for her missing service dog. The dog is a black and white Lhaso Apso name Kamden. The dog disappeared from a home near Ashland and Bancroft Monday. The dog is trained to detect seizures before they happen and alert the owner. If you have any information about the dog call 13ABC.More >>