A Japanese fishing town used COVID relief cash to build a 43-foot long statue of a squid

a close up of an animal: A 13-meter long statue of a giant squid was spotted in Noto, Japan. TheTonarinopoti/YouTube Screengrab © TheTonarinopoti/YouTube Screengrab A 13-meter long statue of a giant squid was spotted in Noto, Japan. TheTonarinopoti/YouTube Screengrab
  • The seaside town of Noto commissioned a gigantic squid statue, which cost around $228,500.
  • The city's government received around $7.3 million in grants to tide them over during the COVID pandemic.
  • Officials weren't required to the funds on COVID relief measures - so they spent part of it on the squid, billing it as a tourist attraction.

A 43-foot long statue of a squid has surfaced in the Japanese seaside town of Noto, but its presence is not floating everyone's boats.

According to the BBC, the squid drew criticism when Noto government officials revealed they'd used a chunk of the 800 million yen ($7.3 million) COVID relief grant provided to the town to commission the statue - which cost 25 million yen ($228,500).

Squid is considered a delicacy in Noto, a sleepy fishing town in northern Japan home to around 17,000 people. The cephalopod, which is fished in the seas off Noto, can be used in almost every type of dish, from sushi to sashimi and tempura. It is also found in stews - known as nabemono - and can be made into ikayaki, a method of grilling the squid and topping it with soy sauce.

According to the Chunichi Shimbun, officials intended the squid statue to be both a playset for children and an Instagrammable tourist hotspot to promote Noto as a "squid town."

In a YouTube video, a curious visitor who encounters the squid statue filmed it from all angles, detailing its gaping maw and tentacles.

A Japanese fishing town used COVID relief cash to build a 43-foot long statue of a squid