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Giant Squid Caught By Japanese Fishermen (Video) 10

13:07, — in the world

The huge specimen came swimming up from the depths and experts say would originally have been about eight metres long in total.

A group of Japanese fishermen have landed a giant squid while on the hunt for a completely different catch, Sky News reports.

Shigenori Goto and his crew were hoping for a catch of yellowtail fish but instead the mammoth squid - weighing 163kg (360lbs) - came into view in the freezing seas of northern Japan.

"We were about 30 or 40 minutes into our day when we saw this huge reddish-brown thing come swimming up, rising from the depths," the 44-year-old revealed in a telephone interview.

"I'd never seen anything like it before. I was surprised, there's no other word for it. And then it was complete chaos on the boat - we all just started shouting 'giant squid, giant squid'," he added.

The squid, a male, died shortly after being pulled to the surface last Wednesday off the coast of Sado island in Niigata Prefecture.

Experts said the squid, which lost its super-long tentacles during the capture, was likely to have been around 8 metres (26 feet) in total, since the tentacles usually equal the rest of the body in length.

The largest ever caught measured some 18 metres (60 feet) from the top of its head to tentacle tip.

The fisherman said he wished the squid had looked better when it was caught.

"I wish we'd been able to make the squid more presentable, but there are no fishing techniques for catching giant squid and I had no idea it was going to become such a big deal. Otherwise I'd have tried to treat it a bit more gently," he said.

Squid, both raw and cooked, is a popular food in Japan but Mr Goto said the thought of eating the catch never crossed his mind.

"It was a seriously big squid. Any smaller and we might have thought about eating it, but there was this really bad ammonia smell. I don't think it would have made for good food."

Giant squid, mysterious creatures thought to have inspired the myth of the monstrous "kraken", make occasional appearances near the Japanese archipelago.

After its capture, the squid was driven away away for tests at a nearby research institute.

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