Photo via The Orlando Sentinel
They're back. Time for the invasion of the Humboldt squid off the southern coast of California.
These normally deep-sea dwelling cephalopods have come to the surface to...well, we don't know why. But they're causing quite a stir among even veteran scuba divers. Some are staying out of the water, some are going in. Here's an experience Shandra Magill had recently:
On a recent night, Magill watched in awe as a dozen squid with expressive eyes circled her group, tapping and patting the divers and gently bumping them before dashing away.
One especially large squid suspended itself motionless in the water about a yard away and peered at her closely, its eyes rolling, before it vanished into the black. A shimmering incandescence rippled along its body, almost as if it were communicating through its skin.
But the next night, things were different: A large squid surprised Magill by hitting her from behind and grabbing at her, pulling her sideways in the water. The powerful creature ripped her buoyancy hose away from her chest and knocked away her light.
When Magill recovered, she didn't know which direction was up and at first couldn't find the hose to help her rise to the surface. The squid was gone.
“I just kicked like crazy. The first thing you think of is, 'Oh my gosh, I don't know if I'm going to survive this. If that squid wanted to hurt me, it would have,” she said.
As a scuba diver myself, I can understand wanting to jump in and get a good look. As an animal with a self-preservation instinct, I also understand wanting to stay home with a bag of Cheetohs, with the comforting knowledge that I won't be eaten by a mollusk.
Thanks for the article, Ida.