These are the first ever photos captured of a live giant squid in its natural habitat. The photos are still images taken from video captured back in July 2012 by a team of scientists aboard a submersible near the Ogasawara islands in Japan.
More footage of the squid will air Jan. 27 on the Discovery Channel as part of the show Monster Squid: The Giant Is Real.
Discovery Channel first announced the find back in December, saying:
This long-sought after footage — considered by many to be the Holy Grail of natural history filmmaking — will be revealed by Discovery Channel and NHK in January 2013.
With razor-toothed suckers and eyes the size of dinner plates, tales of this creature have been around since ancient times. The Norse legend of the sea monster the Kraken, and the Scylla from Greek mythology, might have derived from the elusive giant squid.
This massive predator has always been shrouded in secrecy, and every attempt to capture a live giant squid on camera in its natural habitat has failed. Until now.
Additional details about the footage can be found at USA Today.