Emily Sierra Poertner
In June of 2012, a six-week expedition was funded by the Discovery Channel and the Japan Broadcasting Commission. The crew’s one goal was to get actual video footage of the elusive Giant Squid in its natural environment. The Giant Squid lives off of Japan’s coast, and occasionally specimens wash up on beaches. While there are pictures of the squids from earlier expeditions in 2004 and 2006, no live video footage was taken during either of those trips.
The team was equipped with the Medusa, a special camera designed by Edie Widder. The camera lets off a light that mimics the bioluminescent light of jellyfish, which attract the Giant Squids. The camera was submerged 700 meters into the ocean and successfully caught the giant squid on video. Later on, the expedition team went in a submersible and observed the squid face-to-face in their natural environment.
With the cameras, the team was also able to see the behavior of the squid, which has never been thoroughly studied before. Widder was particularly excited about the advancement and hoped it could help in the study of other deep ocean animals. In an interview she stated, “We really [have] only explored five percent of the ocean, and I think we’ve explored that in the wrong way. I think we’ve scared a lot of animals away.”
The Discovery Channel is airing a documentary with the new footage on Sunday the 27th at 8 p.m.