’Scientists spotted an elusive giant squid in its deep-ocean habitat in American waters for the first time. These titanic, whale-battling beasts are rarely seen, so this sighting is a thrill for biologists and regular folk alike.
Giant squids are 30- to 43-foot cephalopods that inhabit the ocean at depths of 980 to 3,280 feet, where pressures are high and very little sunlight penetrates. Plenty of other strange beasts inhabit this realm, but the giant squid has long been the subject of myth, given its enormous size and the fact that dead ones occasionally wash up on shore.
The squid is not often seen alive in its natural habitat. Scientist Edie Widder, founder of the Ocean Research and Conservation Association (ORCA), developed the camera that first filmed a giant squid near Japan’s Ogasawara archipelago in 2013. Last week, on an expedition in the Gulf of Mexico 100 miles south of New Orleans, scientist Nathan Robinson was watching footage taken by Widder’s Medusa system when a giant squid came along and attacked the camera’s fake jellyfish (actually a ring of lights), according to a NOAA field log. It was their fifth attempt to use the Medusa system to attempt to spot the beast in those waters.…’