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Extremely Rare 10-Foot Squid Washed Ashore Alive in Japan

Rare 10-Foot Squid
Image via South China Morning Post

A giant squid measuring three meters (10 feet) was recently discovered stranded alive on Ugu beach in Obama, Fukui Prefecture. This ultra-rare sighting has captivated the attention of both local officials and the global community.

Discovery of the Giant Squid

Rare 10-Foot Squid
Image via

The giant squid was found alive by a local resident on April 20, 2024, at 10 a.m. on the Sea of Japan coast. Its appearance on the beach is highly unusual, as these deep-sea creatures typically reside far below the ocean’s surface.

Initial Observations

An isolated close up colorful squid cuttlefish looks like 20.000 leagues under the sea. Image via depositphotos

The video of the giant squid, posted by AFP News Agency on Twitter, showed the cephalopod swimming in the shallow waters of Ugu beach. The video quickly went viral, receiving nearly 200,000 views and widespread attention.

Transport to Aquarium

the deadliest squid in the world
By Anonymous – Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission, Public Domain,

Local officials measured the squid on the beach before transporting it to the Echizen Matsushima Aquarium in Sakai. This move was aimed at ensuring the creature’s survival and allowing for further study of this rare marine animal.

Past Sightings of Giant Squids

Gonatus fabricii swims by the PISCES V submersible during dive P5-625 New Zealand, Kermadec Arc. Image by New Zealand-American Submarine Ring of Fire 2005 Exploration; NOAA Vents Program, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

While giant squids are rare, there have been other sightings in the past. In 2020, a giant squid washed up on a beach in South Africa. Another notable instance occurred in Japan in 2006 when scientists captured a 24-foot giant squid.

Rare deep-sea squid
Screenshot from Rare deep-sea squid with ‘headlights’ filmed by scientists. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: ABS-CBN News

Giant Squid Characteristics

rare deep-sea squid
Screenshot from Rare deep-sea squid with ‘headlights’ filmed by scientists. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: ABS-CBN News

Giant squids are known for their enormous size and elusive nature. They typically inhabit the deep sea and are seldom seen by humans. Their appearance on shores is often a result of unusual circumstances or changes in their deep-sea environment.

Viral Impact of the Video

YouTube video
“rare 3-meter giant squid washes ashore in Japan” via South China Morning Post, youtube.

The video of the stranded squid quickly gained traction online. It highlighted the fascination and curiosity that people have for deep-sea creatures, especially those that are rarely observed in their natural habitat.

The Squid’s Condition

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Upon discovery, the squid was alive, which is unusual for such deep-sea dwellers when they wash ashore. Its ability to swim in the shallow waters before being rescued indicated that it was in relatively good condition despite being out of its natural environment.

Expert Reactions

This image taken by Ryan Somma shows a hypothetical fight in the deep sea between a Giant Squid and a Sperm Whale, as shown by models at a museum. Image by Ryan Somma from Occoquan, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Marine biologists and experts expressed excitement over the discovery. They noted that such instances provide valuable opportunities to study these elusive creatures up close and learn more about their biology and behavior.

Significance of the Sighting

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The sighting of a living giant squid on a beach is significant for marine science. It offers insights into the behavior of deep-sea creatures and raises questions about the environmental factors that might have led to its stranding.

The Squid’s Journey to the Aquarium

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Transporting the giant squid to the aquarium required careful handling to ensure its safety. The Echizen Matsushima Aquarium is now housing the squid, where it is being monitored and studied by marine experts.

Public Interest and Curiosity

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The discovery sparked a surge of public interest and curiosity about giant squids. People around the world were intrigued by the rare footage and the mystery surrounding these deep-sea giants.

Historical Context of Giant Squid Sightings

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Historical records of giant squid sightings are few and far between. The first images of a giant squid were captured in 2004, and since then, sightings have remained rare and sporadic, making each encounter noteworthy.

Challenges of Studying Giant Squids

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Studying giant squids is challenging due to their deep-sea habitat. Encounters with these creatures often depend on chance, and their elusive nature makes them difficult subjects for research.

What Is a Giant Squid?

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A giant squid is a large cephalopod that inhabits the deep ocean. Known for their immense size, these creatures can grow to lengths exceeding 40 feet. They are rarely seen due to their deep-sea habitat and elusive nature.

Why Are Giant Squids Rarely Seen?

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Giant squids are rarely seen because they live at great depths in the ocean. Their deep-sea habitat makes them elusive, and sightings typically occur only when they are stranded or brought to the surface by unusual circumstances.

How Was the Giant Squid Discovered on Ugu Beach?

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The giant squid was discovered by a local resident on Ugu beach in Japan. It was found alive in the shallow waters, prompting local officials to measure and transport it to an aquarium for further study and care.

What Is the Significance of This Discovery?

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This discovery is significant as it provides a rare opportunity to study a living giant squid. Such instances are invaluable for marine biologists and can offer insights into the behavior, physiology, and environmental challenges facing deep-sea creatures.

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