The Red Devils Invade

In today’s B-movie Grinder post, scientists are reporting that jumbo squid, also known as Humboldt squid, have moved into the waters off the Pacific Northwest coast. They do not play nice. As Washington’s Bellingham Herald reports, “[t]he squid, which can reach 7 feet long and weigh up to 110 pounds, are aggressive, thought to hunt in packs, and can move at up to 15 mph. In Mexico, they are known as diablos rojos, or red devils.”

Also, they’ve taken up skateboarding, ogle your daughter openly, and have been seen keying cars with their tentacles.

The squid are typically found off Mexico and Central America. But starting in the late 1990s, they wandered up the coast and have been caught as far north as Alaska. At the same time, Chilean fishermen have seen jumbo squid show up in their waters: The symmetry suggests the squid’s range could be expanding in response to climate change. In any case, the roving squid gangs are something of a living nightmare for native fish: “Sharp, barbed suckers on their tentacles snare their quarry and drag it to their mouths, where it’s torn to shreds by a baseball-sized beak.”

They’re currently dining out on Pacific hake, the most abundant fish on the Pacific coast, although its numbers have declined in recent years. Scientists also fear salmon returning from the ocean to spawn could face—and this is an actual quote from a Stanford researcher—“a wall of tentacles.”