Humboldt Squid Stranding a 'Mystery'

Scientists aren’t sure why hundreds of deep water Humboldt squid stranded themselves along Santa Cruz County beaches over the weekend.

Hannah Rosen is with Stanford’s Gilly Lab at the Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey. She says that while strandings aren't unheard of, the reason remains a mystery.

"It’s interesting because you see this also in marine mammals," says Rosen. "Every once in a while you’ll hear of whales or dolphins beaching themselves, and no one’s really sure why.  We don’t know if that’s related at all to this or if it’s a completely different mechanism. We’re just really not sure."

Rosen says large stranding events appear to occur when the squid are invading a new area, and one theory is that the squid might become disoriented in the new surroundings. She says the strandings stop if the squid successfully colonize an area or leave.

Become a KQED sponsor

Follow KQED News on Facebook

Follow KQED News on Twitter

For the latest updates from KQED News, follow us on Twitter.