Jumbo Squid Wash Onto California Beaches
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – Hundreds of giant squid are washing up on Orange County beaches, creating a scene more akin to “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” than “The O.C.”
The bug-eyed sea creatures, believed to be Humboldt squid, normally reside in deep water and only come to the surface at night. Why approximately 500 of them began washing up on the sands of Laguna Beach and Newport Beach on Tuesday isn’t clear.
Authorities said the squid — the biggest weighing 17 pounds — might have been pursuing bait fish and gotten too close to shore, or the tides might simply have carried them in.
“I have heard of this happening before, but it’s not a common occurrence,” lifeguard Capt. Eric Bauer of the Newport Beach Fire Department said Wednesday.
Authorities plan to remove the squid in the next couple of days and will give at least a couple to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History for research.
In the meantime, beachgoers were advised not to eat or even touch them. “They probably have bacteria on them at this point,” Bauer said.