First footage of live giant squid in its natural habitat airs on Discovery Channel

Until now, we’ve had to imagine what a giant squid looked like swimming in its natural habitat, and that imagining has resulted in everything from ancient woodcuts of Krakens to CGI “Sharktopi” in Syfy original movies. We have seen giant squid carcasses washed ashore, but because the mysterious creatures live in such deep waters, their lives have been shrouded in secrecy, odd considering that they are such large creatures, and photographing one live in its natural habitat has been considered by many to be the Holy Grail of natural history filmmaking. But the many efforts to do so have failed. Until now. On tonight’s (Jan. 27) season finale of Discovery Channel’s Curiosity in an episode enticingly (perhaps not unlike a Syfy movie) called Monster Squid: The Giant Is Real, the first-ever footage of a live giant squid in its natural habitat, captured last year by Discovery and NHK, will be shown.

“Our crew came face-to-face with the giant squid,” says Eileen O’Neill, group president of Discovery and TLC Networks, “and it’s the ideal season finale for our Curiosity series that stirs the imagination of our audience. … This latest production, four years in the making, is a world-first achievement for television, and I’m excited to share it.”

Discovery and NHK captured the giant squid imagery below the Pacific waters during a mission that included more than 285 hours in the abyss, 55 sub dives — some at depths greater than 3,000 feet — and a crew of scientists, including oceanographer and marine biologist Dr. Edie Widder, marine biologist Steve O’Shea and zoologist Dr. Tsunemi Kobodera of the National Science Museum of Japan, along with engineers, technicians and sub pilots.

To fully capture the essence of the giant squid on film, the production team used two deep-sea submersibles with panoramic views, ultra-sensitive camera systems with light invisible to squid, bioluminescent lures and something they call “secret squid attractants.”

Monster Squid: The Giant Is Real premieres on Discovery Channel Jan. 27 at 8pm ET/PT.

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