Giant squid captured on camera for the first time in the U.S.

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Few scientists get to just go on a mission for the sake of exploring. Even fewer get to encounter rarely seen images of animals in their natural habitat. But a group of scientists on a research mission in the Gulf of Mexico got to do both.

The two-week mission was funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. Scientists Dr. Edie Widder, Dr. Sönke Johnsen, and Dr. Nathan Robinson, along with their crew, dove their cameras into the depths of the ocean to capture any life beyond the human eye. At just over 100 miles from Louisiana and Alabama, they made a historic discovery: a giant squid in US waters.

The team deployed technology called the Medusa camera fit with a special lure name the electronic jellyfish five times during the trip to attract deep sea animals. Because infrared light is absorbed in the ocean, Widder, who is the founder of Ocean Research and Conservation Association, tells CNN that the light on the lure is uniquely designed. It’s the same technology Widder used in 2012 to capture the first Giant Squid ever recorded on video in Japan.

Widder didn’t think she would get the chance to see the animal again.

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