Sporting red and white to match the holiday festivities on land, a rare giant squid swam into a Japanese harbor on Christmas Eve, delighting locals and giving one diver an unprecedented close encounter.

According to CNN, the 12-foot long squid, likely a juvenile, reportedly swam along the surface near the harbor's boats for several hours. The owner of a local dive shop grabbed his camera gear and jumped in, swimming alongside the creature and capturing some incredible video.

"This squid was not damaged and looked lively, spurting ink and trying to entangle his tentacles around me," Akinobu Kimura told the network. "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 giant squid's appearance in the shallow waters of Toyama Bay is extremely rare, with its natural habitat generally in deep ocean. A 26-foot-long specimen captured on video in 2013, was found at a depth of more than 2,000 feet.

"The color was utterly different than any of us expected," ocean researcher Edie Widder told NPR. "The one that had been brought to the surface and that there were pictures of was red, and a lot of deep-sea squid are red. But this was a spectacular silver and gold. It just looks like it was carved out of metal, it's just completely breathtaking and completely unexpected."

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Diver captures extreme encounter with giant squid
The 12-foot-long juvenile paid a rare visit to a Japanese harbor on Christmas Day.