MacArthur Fellow Lures Giant Squid into Spotlight
January 15, 2013 | From the field | MacArthur Fellows

Edith Widder, a Florida-based biologist, deep-sea explorer, and 2006 MacArthur Fellow has helped to catch the elusive giant squid on camera in the wild. A specialist in bioluminescence, a chemically-produced light characteristic of some ocean-dwelling creatures, Widder crafted a special jellyfish lure to bring the giant squid in for its close-up—2,000 feet below the North Pacific Ocean’s surface. Because the species populates the ocean at depths between 1,500 and 3,000 feet, catching a glimpse is rare. Using a specially-developed deep sea camera system called “Medusa” that Widder co-invented, she recorded the first five video clips ever of what she believes to be five unique squid in the waters several hundred miles south of Tokyo.