Two scuba divers came face-to-face with an extremely rare giant squid and managed to capture incredible footage of the beast.

Yosuke Tanaka and his wife Miki were diving off the western coast of Japan when they came across the 8ft monster on January 6.

Detailing the encounter on his blog Takeno Diving, Yosuke explained that he was first contacted by a ferryman friend of his who had spotted the creature.

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The ferryman rang him to say: "There is a strange big squid, do you want to go see it?"

Yosuke described it as a "once in a lifetime" experience, although he also admitted to being scared.

Speaking to Newsweek, he said: "It's very rare to see them alive.

"I felt terrified because it had very thick arms – if I was caught, I would not be able to escape."

The couple are actually both scuba diving instructors and have their own business in Toyooka City.

Honorary researcher Kubodera Tsunemi of the National Science Museum told NHK that the squid Yosuke came across was likely one or two-years-old.

Female giant squid have been known to grow over 40ft long, making it either the longest or second-longest mollusc (it isn't clear whether the colossal squad can grow longer).

There are even reports of giant squid growing to 60ft or above, although no specimens of that length have ever been documented.

They typically feed on deep-sea fish and other squid species, using serrated sucker rings on their tentacles to grip prey before bringing it toward their powerful beak.

Giant squid can be found in all of the world's oceans. That said, they are very elusive and most of our understanding of them comes from finding them dead.

It remains extremely rare for anyone to see one alive, let alone be able to record it as Yosuke did.

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