Bulletin: First Live Giant Squid Filmed

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 22nd, 2006

Giant Squid Filmed

It is all over the televised news channels and wire services: The National Science Museum of Japan has videotaped a giant squid (Architeuthis) live – perhaps for the first time. It was a modest giant, about 21 feet (seven meters) in length, a young female; older giant squids can be around 55 feet (18 meters) long. One specimen found on a New Zealand beach in 1880, reportedly, was 65 feet in length, with 40 feet of that being tentacles.

The Associated Press is alerting news organizations that the event took place on December 4, 2006, off the Ogasawara Islands, near the remote island of Chichijima, southeast of Tokyo, Japan.

The research team, led by Tsunemi Kubodera, taped the squid’s struggle with bait, but Architeuthis died before it was pulled onboard.

CNN has the video on their site at: Researchers catch giant squid.

"We believe this is the first time anyone has successfully filmed a giant squid that was alive," said Kubodera, a researcher with Japan’s National Science Museum. "Now that we know where to find them, we think we can be more successful at studying them in the future."

Kubodera says that what the team succeeded in doing last year was take a series of still photos of one of the animals in its natural habitat — also believed to have been a first.

Sequences of photographs of a live giant squid last year; live footage this year. See #2, here:

The Top Cryptozoology Stories for 2005

The giant squid was the monster, which was just on the edge of being discovered, that appeared in Jules Verne’s 1870 novel, Vingt mille lieues sous les mers – (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea). The novel was adapted many times as a movie, perhaps the most famous being a 1954 Walt Disney production with James Mason as Captain Nemo, entitled 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (below), and later as a made-for-TV movie with Michael Caine as the captain. The star of both movies, however, definitely was the giant squid.


Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

30 Responses to “Bulletin: First Live Giant Squid Filmed”

  1. steveg3474 responds:

    Freaky. It’s a shame it died. Legend come to life. Take heart Sasquatchers.

  2. mystery_man responds:

    I’m a little confused by this article. The first footage of a live giant squid was taken last September by Kubodera’s team, yet this article says the event happened on December 4th, 2006. Huh? Am I missing something here?

  3. Loren Coleman responds:

    Kubodera says that what the team succeeded in doing last year was take a series of still photos of one of the animals in its natural habitat — also believed to have been a first.

    Sequences of photographs of a live giant squid last year; live footage this year.

    See #2, here:

    The Top Cryptozoology Stories for 2005

  4. Darkwing2006 responds:

    Wasn’t there a recent show on how they obtained the pictures on either Discovery or National Geographic. I watched the show, but failed to get the scientist’s name that was running the research. They had underwater cameras set up on bait, pointing down that took pictures every 60 seconds. It was clearly a good show on how they achieved it.

  5. Ceroill responds:

    mystery man, I was a bit confused as well. Thanks for clearing that up for us, Loren.

  6. tomdee27 responds:

    Amazing video. I just wish it was longer.

    What is really interesting is the color. Humboldt squids turn a dark red when being threatened or attacked. Apparently, Architeuthis does the same. I don’t believe that was truly known before this video.

  7. dialthree responds:

    I love the giant squid and it’s great to finally see one video.

    I wonder how long it will take before they start ending up in a sushi joint in Tokyo.

    “Make you strong”

  8. Craig Woolheater responds:

    A link to CNN and the video was added to the post above as an update.

  9. DWA responds:

    re: post 6.

    Practically every single illustration I’ve ever seen of the giant squid in my life shows the animal a bright red.

    For what it’s worth.

  10. Sordes responds:

    Just a small correction: The giant squid reach in fact not a length of 18m, the famous 18m specimens had enormously (postmortal) overstretched tentacles and was only about 11m long when still alive. The largest ones were with unstretched tentacles about 13m long.

  11. mystery_man responds:

    Yes, Loren I see. Thanks for clearing that up for us!

  12. mystery_man responds:

    Yes, Loren I see. Thanks for clearing that up for us!

  13. DARHOP responds:

    Poor Squid….

  14. Sordes responds:

    Well, every day thousands of giant squids are eaten by sperm whales and millions of other squids too, and the death of this single specimen isn´t very tragic at all.

  15. RockerEm responds:

    pretty cool! I’ve been waiting to see some mystery animal revealed on tape. Excellent footage

  16. Bigfoot2007 responds:

    A great day in the cryptozoology community!!

  17. EastexQueenB responds:

    I actually watched the special on Discovery channel earlier this year covering the expeditions that finally resulted in the still photos. It took more failure than success to finally get the photos. I’m totally thrilled that they finally got some live footage. My thought is that if evidence for the giant squid existed for so many years before actual photos and film footage were taken, there’s still hope that it may happen for bigfoot in the future, and we’ll have something much more significant than “blobsquatches”.

  18. dtart responds:

    It’s amazing what scientist can achieve when they concentrate their efforts to do/discover something. Maybe the Japanese scientist would be interested in finding Sasquatch? Just a thought.

  19. vet72 responds:

    Events like this are always inspiring. I would love to have been there just to have the experience but this amazing video footage will suffice nicely. Great stuff Loren!

  20. Mnynames responds:

    The Japanese have had pretty good success in filming UFO’s and Ghosts too, often on American soil. Maybe it IS time for a Japanese expedition to Bigfoot Country.

  21. David V responds:

    Clearly this is a man in a suit! Just kidding of course, really though, wow, this is really, really cool and gives moral support to all of us who are ridiculed for knowing that sasquatch exist!

  22. Sordes responds:

    You should not forget there was still a huge difference between the giant squid and cryptids like the bigfoot. The giant squid is known from hundreds of carcasses and other relics since more than a century.

  23. Loren Coleman responds:

    Yes, exactly, Architeuthis is a known species today. But on another level, remember, the giant squid was discovered in the 1840s, and it has taken over 160 years for the first film footage to be taken of a living specimen in its natural habitat. In many ways, one could say that Architeuthis has remained hidden (Greek, kryptos) in its natural surroundings almost as much as Sasquatch, who has shown itself along roadways, in creek beds, via footprints, and through other random encounters and physical traces.

  24. busterggi responds:


    But watch out for hoaxers claiming to be the guy in the suit.

  25. ToddPartain responds:

    These are the most fascinating times, it seems, and one of the most fascinating cryptids. This is no cuddly critter, it’s the thing nightmares are made of. All we have to do now is bring in the big guy.

  26. kittenz responds:

    I read something, somewhere, recently about an type of squid even larger than Architeuthis, to which the author of the article referred as a “colassal” squid (apparently to differentiate it from a merely “giant” squid). I haven’t run across the story again but I’m searching for it. I’m not sure whether, as was the case with Architeuthis, any physical evidence has been recovered of this purported larger species. Has anyone else seen anything on this?

  27. nine responds:

    Longtime reader, first time post. Interesting that Hollywood had this thing right all along. I have waited years to see a clear photo of this beast. This is the closest I can visualize when the Bible speaks of “abomination”. Hope there are bigger fellows out there. A major boon too cryptos everywhere!

  28. mystery_man responds:

    Yes, I have read about the so-called “colossal squid”. They have captured sperm whales with sucker marks that, if comparable to other squid, indicate squid out there of truly gigantic proportions.

  29. Sordes responds:

    The name of the colossal squid is Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, and it is known from carcasses since several decades. This species is bulkier built than the giant squid, but has proportionally shorter tentacles. In contrast to the giant squid which reaches a maximum mantle length of about 2.3m the colossal squid reaches a mantle length of probably 4m.

    But in contrast to a widespread myth there are no scars of suckers on sperm whales which indicates gigantic squids. For further information about Mesonychoteuthis you should check out this site.

    Here is also a picture of a small model of Mesonychoteuthis I made some time ago.

  30. mystery_man responds:

    Thanks for the info, Sordes. Fascinating articles.

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