This isn’t a horror movie, this is real life. While generally deep sea creatures, these Giant Squid have recently moved into the shallow waters off the coasts of California.
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Swarms of Humboldt Squid, also known as the Giant Squid or the Jumbo Squid, have been found off the coast of California. These squid are massive, reaching up to 100lbs. They are generally deep sea creatures, but have recently moved into the shallow waters off of San Diego’s coast.
So far, there are no deaths or serious injuries reported from human encounters with Giant Squid swarms. Mostly, the squid, who taste and explore through their tentacles, have been grabbing at face-mask and gear. There have been a few reports of the squid ramming divers, usually from behind, but no permanent damage has been done.
The only human encounters with the Giant Squid have been with divers. The squid swim too deep to meet with most common surfers and swimmers. Most divers are currently staying out of the water or are taking protective measures to avoid injury. Some have taken to wearing the mesh gear most commonly used as protection against shark bites.
Safety is an issue with the Giant Squid because they are aggressive animals and carnivores. Giant Squid are typically passive when they’re not feeding, but during a feeding frenzy, they have been known to eat other squid, even ones in their school (Giant Squid travel in schools of up to 1200). Their tentacles have suckers with sharp teeth that are used to grab a hold of their prey. They are unique in that they have large beaks with sharp ends that can injure the humans they encounter.
Speed is another factor for concern. Not only can Giant Squid travel at 15mph, they also have a very rapid attack. They approach prey with all their tentacles out and grab on with their suckers. They then bite the prey with their beaks. If several Giant Squid attack at once, they can kill a large prey within minutes.
The Giant Squid usually eat fish and krill. They are not attacking humans for food, but, much like many shark attacks, they are exploring the options they are presented with. It’s been suggested that the squid may be a permanent fixture along California’s coast, and it’s best if humans learn to be cautious.
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