A couple diving near the Sea of Japan coast have captured rare images of a giant squid.
Tanaka Yosuke and his wife Miki spotted the creature on the water surface near the Nekozaki Peninsula in the city of Toyooka, Hyogo Prefecture, in western Japan last Friday evening.
The couple are scuba-diving instructors based in the region.
They say the squid was about 2.5 meters long and that they saw it swimming while it slowly moved its long tentacles.
They say it disappeared about 30 minutes later while farther out at sea in deeper waters.
Yosuke told NHK he was surprised to see such a huge creature in the ocean.
Miki said she swam alongside while becoming absorbed shooting video. She said she was excited to be within reach of the squid, although its huge eyes made her feel afraid.
Honorary researcher Kubodera Tsunemi of the National Science Museum said that judging by its size, the squid was likely mature, at 1 or 2 years old.
He says such creatures are spotted several times a year along the Sea of Japan coast. But he says it is rare to have images of one swimming.
Kubodera expects that an increase in the number of similar sightings could contribute to research into the ecology of the giant squid.