TOKYO, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Scientists say they've captured footage of a giant squid, long the stuff of legend, in its natural habitat thousands of feet below the sea's surface near Japan.
Scientists located the Architeuthis squid in the North Pacific Ocean near Japan's Ogasawara archipelago at a depth of 2,066 feet and followed it down to a depth of 2,952 feet before it swam even deeper into the ocean darkness.
"All of us were so amazed at what it looked like," Edie Widder, a marine biologist who was part of the video-making expedition, told the Los Angeles Times. "It looked carved out of metal. And it would change from being silver to gold. It was just breathtaking."
The squid captured in the video footage is 9 feet long but was missing its two longest tentacles that could have made its overall length 26 feet if they had been present, Tsunemi Kubodera from Japan's National Science Museum said.
The scientists said they used a lure mimicking the bioluminescent display of a jellyfish to attract the giant squid's attention.
"This squid has an eye that is bigger than your head," said Widder, who developed the lure used to bring the creature within camera rage.
"It is a visual predator. And that is what we were taking advantage of: They've been so elusive before because every time we've gone to explore they see us with our bright white lights and stay away."