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Mystery: Hundreds of Giant Red Squid Wash Up on Rio del Mar Beach Sunday

Humboldt squid, carnivorous and between 2 and 4 feet long, were rare here until El Nino in 1997, but have been residents of the Monterey Bay since then.

Hundreds of dead Humboldt squid mysteriously washed up on beaches along Rio del Mar Sunday.

They have been rarely sighted onshore here, but the normally southern dwelling invertebrates, which move in shoals of 1,200, have moved northward since 1997.

Here's a National Geographic story about a similar occurrence in San Diego in 2009.

Scientist William Gilly told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that such beachings are a natural occurence when young species migrate. Before 1997 the carnivorous squid, nicknamed "red devil" squid, were mostly found south of the Equater.

Thanks Scott Jarrett for notifying Patch.

Kathryn Gorges December 10, 2012 at 03:16 AM
I just posted a picture of these taken down at Hidden Beach in Aptos -- but why are they there? What caused them to beach themselves and die?
Brad Kava (Editor) December 10, 2012 at 03:49 AM
will try to find that out
Isaura December 10, 2012 at 04:36 AM
I looked up the high tide chart. According to NOAA It was at its highest point at 6 this morning. I counted over 260 bodies as I took a short walk on the beach.
Donna December 10, 2012 at 04:39 AM
We heard unusual sounds coming from the beach below our home on Opal Cliff Drive and when we flashed a powerful light down on the beach we saw hundreds of red squid dead or dying. It is 8:36pm now. We looked them up and they are called Humbolt Squid, but why they all died and beached themselves is mystery....does anyone know why???
D December 10, 2012 at 04:41 AM
We heard unusual sounds coming from the beach below our home on Opal Cliff Drive and when we flashed a powerful light down on the beach we saw hundreds of red squid dead or dying. It is 8:36pm now. We looked them up and they are called Humbolt Squid, but why they all died and beached themselves is mystery....does anyone know why???
Brian Childers December 10, 2012 at 02:23 PM
The same thing happen in Orange County last year. They say it's a natural occurrence. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/09/dead-squid-san-clemente.html
Chuck December 10, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Gonna get stinky as they decompose. Pee yew!
Lisa Ganson December 10, 2012 at 07:25 PM
I know that there has been talk of whales and dolphins having issues because of sonars being used. There is also talk of HAARP being used for the weather and other things. With this day and age of technology and secrecy, it is easy for people to want to say it is nature, and it could be, but I would not rule out other options of experiments going on and going wrong. Unless this was the outcome they were looking for. I hope they can figure this out. This is sad.
Maria Grusauskas December 10, 2012 at 10:00 PM
OK, wouldn't a squid autopsy do the trick? What did the squid eat after the storm? Surely there must be a scientist working on this.... Right?
Amanda Reckenwithe December 10, 2012 at 11:31 PM
No.
frobert December 11, 2012 at 01:32 AM
They are on main beach by the wharf as well. Large amounts!
Robert T Scott December 11, 2012 at 05:17 PM
It coud be a sign. There is a way to fix the problem of global warming and polluition. Would the people listen to the poor man's wisdom? Learn more at facebook.com/666revelations
Chris December 11, 2012 at 06:31 PM
The Holidays are stressful for everyone. Even the squid.
Juliana Cheng December 12, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Gee, the water temperature here in the Monterey bay goes down to the 50's and below...how can these TROPICAL giant squid survive? I have a feeling that these are the result of March 11, 2011 giant tsunami from Japan... the water over there seemed to be much warmer....What do you think?
Juliana Cheng December 12, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Which beach?
John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt December 12, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Well, the oceans are getting warmer and more acidic. Expect more strange behavior from sea creatures as they try to adapt to this new reality.
Kb toys December 14, 2012 at 08:33 AM
Haarp is to blame
Kb toys December 14, 2012 at 08:37 AM
Haarp and weather manipulation...,,things are out of whack. Mix in ' king tides' and it makes sense.

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