Giant squid seen as an 'omen' by Japanese fisherman
The two longest tentacles of one of the creatures caught in the town of Iwami were missing, meaning it could have spanned eight metres
Heather Saul is a digital reporter for The Independent, currently working on the People desk. She has written news and features across a number of topics, paying particular attention to the activities of Isis and events in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Thursday 20 February 2014
An increase in the number of giant squid being caught along the Sea of Japan coast is leading puzzled fishermen to fear their presence may be some kind of 'omen' - although experts think the invertebrate are simply a bit cold.
A giant squid was taken to the Himi fishing port in Toyama Prefecture on 4 January, and another was discovered in a net off Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture on 8 January, according to The Japan Times.
Three squid were taken to Sado and Himi that measured between three and four metres long, the newspaper has reported.
The two longest tentacles of one of the creatures caught in the town of Iwami in Tottori Prefechure were missing, meaning it could have spanned eight metres prior to its capture.
Several of the creatures have been ensnared in fishing nets. Earlier this month a local fisherman caught a four-metre giant squid off the coast of Sadogashima Island.
"When I hauled up the net, the squid slowly came floating up," Shigenori Goto told local media at the time. "This is the first time I've seen such a large squid."
He told The Japan Times yesterday: “I had seen no giant squid before in my 15-year fishing career. I wonder whether it may be some kind of omen.”
Giant squid have been known to grow up to 43ft in size. And while the male variety may only reach 150kg, scientists estimate that the female gender can weigh as much as 275kg.
Squid usually live 600 meters below the water’s surface where temperatures are 6 to 10 degrees, according to Tsunemi Kubodera, the collection director at the National Museum of Nature and Science.
Squid can survive 200 metres below sea level as temperatures are around 7C in January. However, they fell to about 4 degrees this year.
Mr Kubodera speculated that the giant squid have been rising closer to the surface looking for warmer water, but find themselves being swept closer to the shore and into the fisherman's nets.
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
Spain accused of 'provocation' after letting Russian submarine refuel off Gibraltar
Allonautilus scrobiculatus: World's 'rarest' creature spotted for only the third time ever
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...