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Scientists capture incredibly rare footage of 12-foot-long GIANT SQUID swimming in the deep ocean 100 miles outside of New Orleans - minutes before their ship is struck by lightning

For centuries it’s inspired mariners’ folklore and stoked our worst fears of what unseen horrors lie in the darkness of the deep ocean.
But, it wasn’t until 2006 that scientists captured the first ever footage of a living giant squid, after hooking one and hoisting it to the surface.
Six years later a research team collaborating with the Discovery Channel spotted another, this time filming it in its natural habitat thousands of feet beneath the surface.
Now in a remarkable discovery 100 miles southeast of New Orleans, scientists have recorded the elusive giant squid again.
And to add to the mystique, the ship was then struck by lightning.
Footage of the encounter shows the huge cephalopod appearing out of the darkness to wrap its tentacles around the team’s e-jelly lure, before quickly retreating when it realizes the object is not food.
In a remarkable discovery 100 miles southeast of New Orleans, scientists have recorded the elusive giant squid again. The team estimates it was a juvenile, measuring 'at least 3 to 3.7 meters (10 to 12 feet) long'
Researchers with the NOAA’s Journey into Midnight expedition announced the discovery in a blog post this week.
The team has spent the last two weeks investigating some of the deepest areas of the Gulf of Mexico to gather insight on what life is like in a lightless world.
While poring through the videos from the fifth deployment of the Medusa stealth camera system, researcher Nathan Robinson spotted something mysterious in the corner of the screen.
This soon proved to be ‘an enormous set of arms and tentacles coming in to attack the e-jelly,’ the team says.
‘People quickly gathered around. We knew immediately that it was a squid,’ scientists Sönke Johnsen and Edie Widder wrote in the blog post.
‘It was also big, but because it was coming straight at the camera, it was impossible to tell exactly how big. But big – at least 3 to 3.7 meters (10 to 12 feet) long.’



After checking with identification books and swapping opinions, the team settled on an estimation that they’d glimpsed a juvenile giant squid.
But, the excitement wasn’t over.
‘About 30 minutes after Nathan first saw the squid on the screen, lightning struck the ship,’ the team says.
The bolt struck a starboard instrumentation antenna, but thankfully, the Medusa computer and the footage it had just captured were undamaged.
With further examination by squid expert Michael Vecchione at the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Services, the team confirmed what they’d just seen with near-certainty.
The discovery now adds crucial new insight to the behavior of the rarely-seen creature.

‘We found the squid after only five Medusa deployments, despite the fact that thousands of ROV and submersible dives in the Gulf of Mexico have not done so,’ the researchers say. 
‘This suggests that the animal does not like the bright lights of ROVs and that stealth monitoring of the sort possible with the Medusa can allow us to see what has never been seen before.’
And, despite legends of man-eating monsters and tentacles that can take down a ship, the researchers say the giant squid may not be the fearsome kraken it's seemed, after all.
‘Most importantly,’ the team says, ‘we did not find a monster.’
‘The giant squid is large and certainly unusual from our human perspective, but if the video shows anything of the animal's character, it shows an animal surprised by its mistake, backing off after striking at something that at first must have seemed appealing but was obviously not food.’

WHAT IS THE GIANT SQUID? 

Giant squid are thought to live all throughout the world’s oceans, though not so much in the tropical and polar areas, according to Smithsonian.
They live deep beneath the surface in ‘inky black, icy cold waters’ 1,650 feet (500 meters) to 3,300 feet (1,000 meters) deep.
And, they’re extremely elusive.
Until 2006, a giant squid had never been filmed alive, and much about what’s known of them is based on carcasses that have washed ashore.
The largest ever recorded, including the tentacles sits at a staggering 43 feet (13 meters), and scientists suspect the creatures may grow as large as 66 feet (20 meters) long.
Their eyes are the size of dinner plates, each at about 1 foot (30 centimeters) wide.

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