(NEW YORK) -- On Jan. 27, the world will finally see footage of an animal that’s captured people’s imaginations for centuries, but which has been seen alive only once, and never previously captured on film – the giant squid.
The Discovery Channel, along with Japanese partner NHK, will air video of the animal, an elusive deep-water predator that can grow up to 60 feet, with eyes as large as dinner plates.
Despite its huge size, and its claim as the world’s largest living invertebrate, the giant squid was seen alive only for the first time by a crew of Japanese scientists in 2006. It’s unclear whether the video to be aired in January is of this particular squid.
Nearly as long as a school bus and weighing up to a ton, the squid’s eight arms and two tentacles are covered in barbed suction cups, which it uses to force prey — fish, other squid, possibly small whales — into its razor-sharp beak.
Eileen O’Neill, group president of Discovery and TLC Networks, called the footage ground-breaking in a statement, adding, “Our crew came face-to-face with the giant squid.”
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