SCENES

First-Ever Live Giant Squid Footage in US Waters


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  • By Nathan J Robinson & Edith Widder

Description

This is the first time that a live giant squid has been recorded in US waters. This footage, captured in the Gulf of Mexico, is the second time that this animal has been seen in the wild—the first being in Japanese waters. Giant squid are one of the largest animals on Earth, growing up to 14 meters (45 feet) in length. Yet despite their size, they have eluded film-makers, scientists and deep-sea explorers for decades. To attract the giant squid, we used a luminous bait called an eJelly. The eJelly emits light in a circular pattern, emulating the bioluminescent display of a deep-sea jellyfish. Attracted by the light, we were able to observe the squid as it stalked the eJelly. This behavior suggests that these animals actively hunt their prey before attacking. Footage like this is invaluable for revealing the behavior of these elusive animals.

This work was conducted aboard the R/V Point Sur (University of Southern Mississippi) and funded by National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Ocean Exploration and Research.

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