For centuries it has been the folklore of the inspired sailors and fueled our greatest fear of what invisible horrors lie in the darkness of the deep ocean.
But only in 2006 did scientists take the first images of a living giant squid after he had hooked one and lifted it to the surface.
Six years later, a research team working with Discovery Channel discovered another team, this time filming thousands of feet below its surface in its natural habitat.
Now, in a remarkable discovery 100 miles southeast of New Orleans, scientists have reintroduced the elusive giant squid.
And to add to mysticism, the ship was subsequently struck by lightning.
Images of the encounter show the huge cephalopods appearing out of the darkness to wrap their tentacles around the team's e-jelly locks before quickly retreating when it realizes that the object is not food.
Scroll down for video
In a remarkable discovery 100 miles southeast of New Orleans, scientists have reintroduced the elusive giant squid. The team estimates it was a juvenile that & # 39; was at least 3 to 3.7 meters (10 to 12 feet) long & # 39; measure.
Researchers with the expedition Journey into Midnight of the NOAA have announced the discovery in a blog post this week.
Over the past two weeks, the team has been researching some of the deepest parts of the Gulf of Mexico to gain insight into what life looks like in a lightless world.
As he poked through the videos of the fifth deployment of the Medusa camera system, researcher Nathan Robinson saw something mysterious in the corner of the screen.
This soon turned out to be a huge array of arms and tentacles that came in to attack the e-jelly, says the team.
& # 39; People came together quickly. We immediately knew it was a squid, & # 39; scientists Sönke Johnsen and Edie Widder wrote in the blog post.
& # 39; It was also large, but because it came straight at the camera, it was impossible to say exactly how large it was. But large – at least 3 to 3.7 meters (10 to 12 feet) long. & # 39;
After checking with identification books and exchanging opinions, the team decided that they had seen a juvenile giant squid.
But the excitement wasn't over yet.
& # 39; About 30 minutes after Nathan saw the squid on the screen, lightning struck the ship, & # 39; says the team.
The bolt hit a starboard instrument antenna, but luckily the Medusa computer and the footage it had just captured were undamaged.
With further research by squid expert Michael Vecchione at the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Services, the team confirmed with certainty what they had just seen.
The discovery now adds a crucial new insight to the behavior of the rarely observed being.
Lightning struck the ship about 30 minutes after the observation. It hit a starboard instrument antenna, but luckily the Medusa computer and the images it had captured were undamaged. A water outlet seen from R / V point Sur is shown at the top left
Above, from left to right, Nathan Robinson, Sonke Johnsen, Tracey Sutton, Pt Sur-Nick Allen captain, Edie Widder and Megan McCall can look around to watch the squid video
& # 39; We found the squid after only five Medusa implementations, despite the fact that thousands of ROV and underwater dives in the Gulf of Mexico have not done this & # 39 ;, the researchers say.
The giant squid has long inspired folklore. But researchers say it's not a monster
& # 39; This suggests that the animal does not like the bright lights of ROV & # 39; s and that stealth monitoring of the kind that is possible with the Medusa can show us what has never been seen before. & # 39;
And despite legends of human-eating monsters and tentacles that can knock down a ship, the researchers say the giant squid may not be the terrifying crunch it finally seemed.
& # 39; The most important thing is & # 39 ;, the team says, & # 39; we did not find a sample & # 39 ;.
& # 39; The giant squid is large and certainly unusual from our human perspective, but if the video shows something of the animal character, then it shows an animal surprised by its mistake, looking back after hitting on something that at first seemed attractive but clearly no food. & # 39;
WHAT IS THE GIANT SQUID?
Giant cuttlefish are believed to live all over the world's oceans, though not so much in the tropical and polar regions, according to the Smithsonian.
They live deep beneath the surface in & # 39; ink black, icy cold water & # 39; at a depth of 500 meters to 1000 meters deep.
And they are extremely elusive.
Until 2006 a giant squid had never been filmed alive and much of what is known about it is based on washed up carcasses.
The largest ever recorded, including the tentacles, is located at a stunning 43 feet (13 meters), and scientists suspect that the creatures can grow to be as tall as 20 meters.
Their eyes have the dimensions of plates, each about 30 centimeters wide.
. (TagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) sciencetech