Rare Giant Squid spotted off the coast of Japan

December 29, 2015, 7:31am

Sarah Begley, TIME Video Still: TIME

A giant squid was seen off the coast of Japan on Christmas Eve, making one of the species’ very rare appearances.

Spectators spotted the creature from a pier in Toyama Bay, where Akinobu Kimura, the owner of a diving shop, swam up to the squid and captured it on video, CNN reports. “This squid was not damaged and looked lively, spurting ink and trying to entangle his tentacles around me,” he said. “I guided the squid toward to the ocean, several hundred meters from the area it was found in, and it disappeared into the deep sea.”

The animal was estimated to be about 12 ft. long, comparatively small for the species, which can grow longer than 40 ft. Giant squid usually keep to deep waters, and are very seldom spotted in the wild.

Footage of Giant Squid via TIME