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Welcome to the teacher's online companion for Scholastic Action—the exciting magazine that boosts teens’ reading and writing skills.

Scientists have caught a giant squid on video for the first time.
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Reuters / NHK / NEP / Discovery Channel
Sea Monster Found Alive!
Scientists have caught a giant squid on video for the first time

By Jennifer Marino Walters | for ACTION MAGAZINE

In the December 10, 2012, issue of Action, we told you about an incredible animal, the giant squid.

For hundreds of years, the giant squid has been a mystery. It lives in very dark, deep parts of the ocean. It’s almost impossible for scientists to watch up close because the water pressure is too strong in the deep sea.

But last July, for the first time ever, scientists were able to film the giant squid in its natural habitat. They were amazed by what they saw.

“It looked carved out of metal,” said Edie Widder, a scientist who was part of the team. “And it would change from being silver to gold. It was just breathtaking.”

The scientists filmed the squid in the North Pacific Ocean off southern Japan. They followed it down to a depth of 2,952 feet. They filmed it for more than 23 minutes. Then the squid swam off even deeper. The Discovery Channel will air the footage this week.

CAUGHT ON CAMERA

Tsunemi Kubodera is a zoologist at Japan’s National Museum of Nature and Science. He led the team that filmed the squid.

The team went into the ocean’s deepest parts in a small submarine. Usually, submarines have bright lights to see in the dark. But scientists realized that the lights were scaring away the squid. This sub floated in the dark. Because giant squid eat smaller squid, the scientists released a small squid as bait.

Then the scientists waited in the pitch black for the giant squid to come. The color video shows the squid floating vertically, eating the small squid. The giant squid in the video is 9 to 10 feet long and is missing its two longest tentacles. With those tentacles, it could have measured up to 26 feet long. It has huge black eyes the size of dinner plates.

“It was shining and so beautiful,” Kubodera told reporters.

Scientists say catching the mysterious creature on video is an important step toward understanding it.

Check back next week for another Breaking News story!