A huge squid has emerged from the depths to treat Japan to a very rare sight.
Locals witnessed and filmed the creature swimming slowly in Honshu city’s Toyama Bay on Christmas Eve.
A diver jumped into the water to swim with the apparently healthy-looking cephalopod. He later claimed to have guided it toward the safety of deeper waters.
“This squid was not damaged and looked lively, spurting ink and trying to entangle his tentacles around me,” the diver, Akinobu Kimura, told CNN.
“I guided the squid toward to the ocean, several hundred metres from the area it was found in, and it disappeared into the deep sea.”
Most media outlets identified the animal as a three or four metre-long giant squid, or Architeuthis, although it could also be a colossal squid.
The diver used an underwater camera to capture footage of the squid, which has been reported across the globe.
The appearance of large squids, both alive and dead, has been increasing in recent years across Japan, according to The Japan Times, with some locals worried it is an “omen”.
If reports of the squid’s size are accurate, it would be a relatively small specimen, with giant squids growing up to 13 metres long and colossal squids up to 14 metres.