PHOTO: World’s First BABY Giant Squid Caught in Japan

KS_LOGOs2_UnderwaterResearchers have captured three different giant squid babies off the coasts of western and south-western Japan. This is the first time this has EVER happened in the whole world! 🐙 I’m absolutely terrified of giant squid (thanks to this exhibit at the AMNH), but I’m also obsessed with these fascinating creatures of the deep.

A baby giant squid caught off the coast of Kagoshima prefecture in southwestern Japan. MORIHIKO YAMADA/MUSEUM OF NATURE AND HUMAN ACTIVITIES

According to National Geographic, giant squid are thought to reach sizes up to 60 feet (18 meters), but because they live at such great ocean depths adults have never been studied in the wild – let alone babies.

The Museum of Nature and Human Activities in Hyogo prefecture said researchers caught three individuals of small, young giant squid (Architeuthis due) in or near Japanese coastal waters from April–June 2013. The discovery was published last week in the journal Marine Biodiversity Records.

The first baby giant squid was recorded on the coast off Kyushu Island, southern Japan. The remaining two were caught dead in fishing nets off the coast of Shimane, south-western Japan. Giant squid are the world’s largest invertebrates but each baby weighed in at under a pound and ranged from 5-13 inches in length.

I guess they aren’t so scary when they are just one foot long! Needless to say the scientific community is excited by this discovery. Researcher Toshifumi Wada told The Wall Street Journal, “This is the first time in the world that such young giant squid were found, and it has helped us understand what they are like this early in their life stage.”

PHOTO: World’s First BABY Giant Squid Caught in Japan