A giant squid was caught in a fishing net in Japan, off of Sadogashmia Island in Niigata Prefecture.
The squid was discovered after Shigernori Goto, a fisherman, pulled up a fishing net that was set at a depth 229 feet.
The squid died when it was hauled to the surface.
It measured 19 feet in length and weighed just over 330 pounds, reported The Yomiuri Shimbun.
“This is the first time I’ve seen such a large squid,” Goto said.
Researchers at the marine research institute in the prefecture said that it’s extremely rare for a live giant squid to be brought to the surface. The giant creatures were once thought mythical before beginning to be seen in 2006. They’re among the largest invertebrates in the world.
FNN-News, a Japanese broadcaster, reported that the squid was deemed unfit for consumption. It’s the eighth squid found around Japan in recent years, it reported.
The largest giant squid ever recorded was almost 43 feet long, and weighed nearly a ton. There have been rumors of giant squid up to 66 feet long.
” You’d think such a huge animal would be hard to miss. But because the ocean is vast and giant squid live deep underwater, they remain elusive and are rarely seen: most of what we know comes from dead carcasses that floated to the surface and were found by fishermen,” according to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
The squids are similar in anatomy to other squids but they are much bigger. They have eight thick arms speckled with 2-inch wide toothed suckers guide prey from the feeding tentacles to a sharp beak in the center of the arms, where the prey is sliced into bite-sized pieces.
On the head are eyes the size of dinner plates, known as the largest in the animal kingdom.