Giant, hippie-hating, cannibalistic squids attack SF Bay Area

Oh, alright, I made up the hippie-hating part, but they do exhibit "cannibalistic" behavior, and they are quite large. Mexican fisherman call them "red devils."

Here in the US, we call them Humboldt Squids, and here's a short video about an ongoing invasion, from QUEST, a science show produced by San Francisco's PBS affiliate station.

A mysterious sea creature up to 7 feet long, with 10 arms, a sharp beak and a ravenous appetite, has invaded ocean waters off Northern California. Packs of fierce Humboldt Squid attack nearly everything they see, from fish to scuba divers. Marine biologists are working to discover why they've headed north from their traditional homes off South America.
Link (thanks Lauren)


  1. “Marine biologists are working to discover why they’ve headed north from their traditional homes off South America.”

    …uh, maybe because they can range further north because the globves oceans are warming up…?

  2. these bastards scare me. To meet them diving without wearing mail and being tied of to the boat? (shudder!)

  3. Obviously a sign of God’s wrath. I mean, San Francisco? It’s not quite a plague of locusts but the fundies will be playing this up for everything they can get.

  4. I get two points for this story, and Captain Tom gets a tentacle slap for referring to squid as fish.

  5. They look really cool. I wouldn’t pick one up, but they’re graceful and beautiful in the water.

  6. @coyote

    Or perhaps a random mutation that allows them to thrive in a different environment?

  7. i go fishing in the sea of cortez every summer. First thing you do in the morning is use jigs and catch 2 or 3 squid. If you run out of bait fish, you can use the squid bits. if not, cook the squid for dinner.

    The Mexican boat captains say the squid are eating everything else, and soon, we will only fish for them.

    FEH. Now they are off the NorCal coast? that’s it, I am not swimming again.

  8. “All the punks are gonna scream yippee! ‘Cause it’s the thing that only eats hippies!”

    First thing that popped into my head.

  9. To any of those who seriously doubt, Google Bodega Bay Humbolt Squid Trips. While fun, these charters can get VERY messy. The Humbolts release huge ammounts of ink making the deck very slippery. In the end I had more calamari than I could use which made friends and family very happy.

  10. Wondering if the presence of the squid is related to the delining salmon populations…

  11. Why would people be at all afraid of another species that is cannibalistic?

    -Ben (hippie who’s willing to eat them first)

  12. I liked it when she said Mesopelagic. That’s a great word.

    Yeah, but ‘abyssopelagic’ is even better. Who was the narratrix? Hillary Swank, maybe?

  13. I’ve seen them here in Newport Beach; a few years ago a couple hundred washed up on the shore.

  14. As a red squid living off the coast of Florida I have to join in. The plural of ‘squid’ is ‘squid’. We only use ‘squids’ as a self referential slang, as in ‘me and my squids was hanging out off San Fran when we decided to go inshore and eat some hippies.’ You did get the anti-hippie agenda spot-on. When not eating hippies or moving our tentacles in new and expressive ways we also enjoy squirting ink on stuff, especially walls, canvases, cars, and discarded television sets. Squid have an afinity for adhesive art and pacific rim cuisine, no matter how September 10th it is. We absolutely hate faux-hawks. WE ARE NOT AT ALL TASTY! Our flavor is best described as a cross (or culinary mash up, if you will) between stale peeps, warm domestic lager, and concentrated pork ramen flavor packets (the really cheap kind). Our texture is so rubbery we make the lesser market squid seem as soft as room temperature yogurt. In closing- please leave us alone. If you do we promise to help rid California of its unbearable hippie infestation. Pinkie promise!

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