Speed Reads

monsters of the deep

Extremely rare giant squid caught on camera

When diver Akinobu Kimura saw a giant squid swimming near the surface of Toyama Bay in central Japan on Christmas Eve, he knew he had to get a closer look.

"My curiosity was way bigger than fear, so I jumped into the water," he told CNN. Giant squid sightings are incredibly rare, but spectators say the 12-foot-long creature (believed to be a juvenile, since squid can grow as large as 43 feet long) swam under boats and hung out in the bay for several hours. The squid, Kimura said, "looked lively," and was spurting ink. Squid are usually found in deep water, and it's not clear why this one was in the bay, but Kimura said he guided it toward the ocean and "it disappeared into the deep sea."

The first observation of a giant squid in its natural habitat took place in the north Pacific in 2004, and much remains unknown about the elusive creature. Watch the video of the Japanese giant squid — and its giant, creepy eyes — below. Catherine Garcia