The town of La Jolla, California experienced a strange phenomenon on Monday when dozens of confused Humboldt squid washed up on beaches in the area. Lifeguards and people who have lived in the area for quite some time say this is the first time they’ve ever seen squid in the area.
The media is calling them “Giant Squid” but that’s incorrect. The squid are actually of the Humboldt variety, usually growing to between 3-6 feet long and weighing between 20 and 100lbs each. Humboldt are commonly found off the coast of Southern California, the Baja peninsula and in the Sea of Cortez. True Giant Squid, like the varieties found in the oceans off the southern coast of Austraila and Antartica can grow many times larger, sometimes reaching over 50 feet in length.
Due to an earthquake with an epicenter in the ocean near to coast Monday morning, some are also speculating that the squid beached themselves out of confusion from aftershocks in the water that may have damaged the creature’s built-in navigation systems, but experts have noted that the relationship between the squid and earthquake may be just a coincidence. Due to rapid temperature changes in the ocean off the coast of California in recent times, and the fact that squid are highly sensitive to changes in their environment, geologists suspect those changes have had a more profound effect on the creatures than a single earthquake could have.
But for someone who has never seen live squid before, or been able to get so up close and personal with them, this will certainly be something they’ll remember for years to come.