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The beast is finally captured alive…at least, on film. Japanese scientists are releasing footage of a giant squid taken in its natural habitat, at a depth of 630 meters:

“Researchers around the world have tried to film giant squid in their natural habitats, but all attempts were in vain before. It was shining and so beautiful,” Tsunemi Kubodera, a squid expert and researcher for Japan’s National Science Museum told AFP. “I was so thrilled when I saw it firsthand, but I was confident we would because we rigorously researched the areas we might find it, based on past data.”

“Past data,” indeed; Kubodera and his colleagues had spent upwards of 400 hours — logged across 100+ missions — plumbing the depths of the Pacific in search of the behemoth, before teaming up with Japanese public broadcaster NHK and the US Discovery Channel.

When the collaboration finally came upon the mega-mollusk, it was in a submersible rig at a depth of 630 meters, about 9 miles off the coast of Chichi Island.

See 1:00 for the eye of the Kraken, coolly gazing at its future human prey, for the stuff of nightmares…