Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Diablos Rojos

Divers Driven Out By Killer Calamari

"In San Diego thousands of jumbo flying squid, or Killer calamari are surging up from their customary deep water habitat and are terrifying beach goers and divers. These belligerent 5-foot-long sea giants have razor-sharp beaks and toothy tentacles. They can weigh up to 100 pounds, but are generally only seen in their local habitat, the deep waters off Mexico. The calamari usually hunt in schools of up to 1,200 and can swim up to 15 mph. They can skim over the water to escape from their predators.The squid’s unpredicted trip to the sunny shores of South California has scientists spinning in knots of confusion. From a shortage of food, to global warming, or a decline in the squid's natural enemies, could have been the cause of the phenomenon.
Tales of close encounters with the weird-looking cephalopods have pushed many experienced divers out of the water. A local diver revealed "I wouldn't go into the water with them for the same reason,” Mike Bear said “I wouldn't walk into a pride of lions on the Serengeti".
Shanda Magill, like other divers are dragged between their personal safety and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share the sea with these deep-ocean giants. Attracted to the dive lights, some divers report tentacles enveloping their masks and tugging at their cameras and gear.
On a recent night dive, Magill trod water and stared in wonder as around twelve squid with expressive, mournful eyes swam around her group. The squid knocked and patted the divers, gently bumping into them, before swimming swiftly away.
A large squid crept up on Magill, on the next night’s dive, hitting her from behind and grabbing at her. The strong creature dragged her sideways, tearing her buoyancy hose away from her chest and knocking away her light.When Magill recovered, she had difficulty knowing which was the way to the surface and difficulty finding the hose to help her stay afloat as she swam upwards. The squid had left.
“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 could have," said Magill. Other experienced divers have quoted the squid as tugging at their masks and gear and roughing them up."

Cost of the War in Iraq
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