Giant squid washes ashore on Sea of Japan coast

A giant squid has been found on a beach in Tottori Prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast.

A local resident spotted the squid on a beach in the town of Iwami on Sunday morning.

Officials of the San'in Kaigan Geopark Museum of the Earth and Sea identified the creature as a giant squid, known as Daioika in Japan.

The squid is about three meters and 20 centimeters long. It had been severely damaged and had lost the tentacles that are used to lure and catch prey. Museum officials believe the squid was dead by the time it washed ashore.

Giant squids live at a depth of 200 to 1,000 meters, mainly in areas along the Pacific Ocean. They are rarely found in Tottori Prefecture, which faces the Sea of Japan.

A man who lives near the beach said he was extremely surprised that the squid was so big.

Koyano Yuzo, a curator of the museum, said the squid had somehow traveled to the Sea of Japan, which is rough and has lower temperatures than the Pacific Ocean side. He said these factors are believed to have weakened the deep-sea creature.