Shigenori Goto, a fisherman out near Sadogashima island in northern Japan, found something unusual in his net last Wednesday — a 13-foot-long squid.
The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that Goto was looking to catch yellowtails, or Japanese amberjacks, but what he caught instead was a rarely seen “daio ika” giant squid.
“When I hauled up the net, the squid slowly came floating up,” Goto told reporters. “This is the first time I’ve seen such a large squid.”
Giant squids have been a part of folklore for centuries — the sea creatures are feature in “Moby-Dick” and “20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” — but real-life specimens are so rare and live in such deep, inhospitable water that for some time there was doubts that they existed.
Last January, Japanese scientists published the first live footage of a giant squid in its natural habitat. The specimen was found in the northern Pacific ocean at a depth of around 2,000 feet.
National Geographic reports that the largest ever discovered was 59 feet in length and weighed nearly a ton.