Giant squid – also known also by their scientific name Architeuthis – have been the stuff of both legend and science for hundreds of years. Stories of great tentacled Kraken in Scandinavia and in the scientific writings of Pliny the Elder are some of the earliest indications that such monsters were thought to exist. Giant squid have also left evidence of their existence tangled up in fishing nets and washed ashore all over the world. Despite their massive size (adults can grow up to about 40 feet from tip to tentacle and weigh up to 610 pounds) searching for them has been a needle-in-a-haystack endeavor.

The first video footage of a giant squid in its natural habitat will air this Sunday on the Discovery Channel in Monster Squid: The Giant is Real. The show is the culmination of years of searching, and a successful six-week expedition 550 miles south of Tokyo in June of 2012.