The first photographs of a live giant squid in its natural habitat were taken by Tsunemi Kubodera and Kyoichi Mori on 30 September 2004 and released to the world in their 2005 paper.
The photographs were taken in an area that was a known sperm whale hunting ground. In order to get the images they dropped a 900m line baited with squid and shrimp which was attached to a camera.
Eventually a large squid attacked the baited line and snagged its tentacle. The camera took over 500 photos before the squid managed to break free after 4 hours but the squid's tentacle remained attached to the lure. DNA tests confirmed that the animal was a giant squid.
On 4 December 2006 an adult giant squid specimen was recorded on video in the waters around the Ogasawara Islands, 1,000km (620 miles) south of Tokyo, by researchers from the National Science Museum of Japan led by Tsunemi Kubodera. The specimen was about 7m long and weighed 50kg (110lb).