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7-Foot Squid Speared Off Santa Barbara

Associated Press

A seven-foot squid, said to be the largest found locally in recent history, was speared off San Miguel Island in 30 feet of water after the creature repeatedly rammed a rock as if it was dazed, a diver reported.

The 10-tentacled squid was brought into Santa Barbara Harbor on Thursday. A marine biologist said the animal might have been hit in the head earlier by a boat’s propeller.

The maroon and gray creature, whose body measured three feet and its tentacles four feet, was speared off San Miguel Island by a scuba diver who said he was surfacing when he looked up to see the squid swimming above him.

The diver, David Sherwood, second captain of the charter boat Truth, said, “I thought it was a seal dive-bombing me.”

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“We have nothing close to seven feet in our collection,” said Paul Scott, associate curator of invertebrates at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. “It’s three times the size of the largest squid in our collection.”

Scott said the animal is normally found in the open ocean and, although its range extends from Alaska to California, is very rarely found in the Santa Barbara Channel.


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