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Call him "Squid Rock" or call him "Billy the Squid" -- just don't call him over to your boat!
Discovery Channel has released the first clip from its upcoming documentary about the elusive giant squid, which can grow to a monstrous 26 feet in length and is likely the source of the Nordic legend of the kraken.
Discovery Channel will air the footage -- the first time the giant squid has ever been seen in its underwater habitat -- in the special “Monster Squid: The Giant Is Real,” on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 8 p.m. ET.
The creature spends its days trawling the depths of the Pacific Ocean, at a depth where there is little oxygen or light and crushing pressure from the immense weight of the water above. It was spied by Japan’s National Science Museum, working in tandem with Japanese broadcaster NHK and the Discovery Channel, according to AFP.
"It was shining and so beautiful," museum researcher Tsunemi Kubodera said. "I was so thrilled when I saw it first hand, but I was confident we would because we rigorously researched the areas we might find it, based on past data."
The immense creature, which has razor-toothed suckers and eyes the size of dinner plates, has been the subject of fables and fairy tales since ancient times. The Norse legend of the sea monster and the Scylla from Greek mythology might have derived from the giant squid.
This is the first recorded footage of the giant squid in its natural habitat, squid specialist Kudobera said. He also filmed what he says was the first live video footage of a giant squid in 2006, but only from his boat after it was hooked and brought up to the surface.
"Researchers around the world have tried to film giant squid in their natural habitats, but all attempts were in vain before," Kubodera said.
The squid was spotted at a depth of around 2,000 feet using a submersible in July, about 10 miles east of Chichi island in the north Pacific Ocean.
"With this footage we hope to discover more about the life of the species," he told AFP, adding that he planned to publish his findings soon.