The giant squid stunned scientists working on the project.
Even without lightning strikes and open-water tornadoes, filming a giant squid in its natural habitat is extremely hard - so difficult, in fact, that nobody had managed it until 2012, when Widder and her and her colleagues on a mission off the coast of Japan used The Medusa to capture the first-ever videos of giant squid in their deep sea home. Although it was hard to determine the animal's exact size as it was swimming straight to the camera, the squid was estimated to be at least 10 to 12 feet (3 to 4 meters).
Scientists are rejoicing after a giant squid was filmed off the coast of the U.S. for the first time.
'It was also big, but because it was coming straight at the camera, it was impossible to tell exactly how big.
"Most importantly, we did not find a monster". "The giant squid is large and certainly unusual from our human perspective, but if the video shows anything of the animal's character, it shows an animal surprised by its mistake, backing off after striking at something that at first must have seemed appealing but was obviously not food".
The footage of the giant squid extending its undulating arms to show off its long tentacles comes at about 2500 feet under the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, per the Washington Post. Their expedition has the goal to see the living creatures in the dark zone, at 1000 meters below the surface. Who knows how climate change and rising sea levels are affecting the life cycle and evolution of these marvelous creatures?
The Medusa, a camera that employs red lights invisible to most creatures at those depths, was used to lure the animals with its attached "e-jelly" show, which mimics the bioluminescence of a deep-sea jellyfish.
As a storm raged above, Widder's colleague Nathan J. Robinson, director of Cape Eleuthera Institute, was in charge of parsing through their footage.
Robinson mentioned he then indicated to Widder come to see what he found. It's only the second time a giant squid has been captured swimming alive and on video. Stories of their gargantuan size littered the tales of ancient seafarers and historian throughout millennia, but sometimes their massive corpses washed up on shores, so we knew they existed as more than the seeming myths they had been for centuries. "Monsters" Are Here Giant squids are notoriously hard to capture on film.
Researchers were reviewing Medusa's footage last week once they caught the first glimpse of the squid's long tentacles. As Widder and Johnsen pointed out in their NOAA mission log, the giant squid - known as sea monsters of ancient lore - is found in the United States' own backyard. "At a time in the world when the environment is in crisis people protect what they love, and they love what they see".
"Love of nature is a stronger force for conservation than fear of doing the wrong thing", Johnsen said.