Hyogo: Museumgoers Touch ‘squishy’ Giant Squid

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Children touch a giant squid on display in Kami, Hyogo Prefecture

KAMI, Hyogo — A giant squid measuring a total of 6.5 meters in length was found on the Kasumi coast of Kami, Hyogo Prefecture, on Jan. 28. The squid was put on public display at the town’s Geopark & Uminobunkakan, where visitors were able to touch it while wearing gloves.

According to the museum, giant squid are thought to live in the warm deep waters off the Ogasawara Islands. However, they sometimes wander into the Sea of Japan where they are sometimes caught by bottom trawlers that are used for firefly squid fishing. Most of them are released back into the sea, so the public don’t get many chances to see them.

Shunya Taniguchi, a 17-year-old Kasumi High School student studying marine science, found the squid on Jan 12 during a training session. The creature was found between wave dissipating blocks near a boat shed.

“At first, I could only see part of its head and thought it was neon flying squid or something, but I was surprised when I got closer,” said Taniguchi.

After students examined the giant squid at school, the museum took it in and kept it frozen. On the day of the event, children touched and lifted the squid, saying: “It’s so heavy!” “So big,” “It’s got 10 legs,” and “So squishy.”