April 8, 2010: Humbold squid, which were rare north of San Diego ten years ago, have spread and are now sighted all the way north to Alaska. Scientists are attributing this to the spread of ocean dead zones and changes in oxygen levels which have hurt other marine species - but the squid are thriving. One scientist is quoted as saying:
"They're able to explore and take advantage of new environments that are compromised in any way."
Humbold squid only live for a year or two, but manage to grow from a size of a millimeter to up to two meters. To reach that size, they have what was described as "endless appetites". It is suspected that they might seriously damage fisheries in the area.
They seem to be attracted to the spreading dead zones in the Eastern Pacific Ocean which keep away many of their own predators, such as tuna, billfish, and sharks. However, precisely why they are thriving there is unknown.
"We really don't know what the biomass [of Humboldt] is in any of these places."
"In a way, they're the masters of that universe," Gilly says about the hypoxic zones. "They're the top predators in that world."
Game and Story Use
- An attack of a swarm of these creatures would be perfect for a horror scenario along the coast.
- So what environments in the area are "compromised in any way"? Perhaps even… the land? Could they evolve to prey on land animals… and people?
- Surely California counts as "compromised", given all the many dooms that are closing up on that state…
- So what is causing the "ocean dead zones"? Lesser spawn of Cthulhu, making space to breed armies of squid servitors before the invasion of the land?