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Giant flying squid?

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SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Thousands of jumbo flying squid measuring up to 2 feet long have washed ashore at a La Jolla beach, surprising scientists and swimmers.

Workers on Friday removed 12 tons of dead and dying squid stranded at La Jolla Cove.

It may have been the largest local mass stranding in nearly 100 years, said Eric Hochberg, a scientist with the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum.

Hochberg believes the quivering, tentacled mollusks were stranded while chasing a school of grunion, a fish that spawns on the sand at high tide.

"They're just getting tumbled by the surf and washed ashore," he said.

"It was just unbelievable," said Bill Halsey, 26. "They made these strange noises like a dolphin or a seal as they were dying."

"The thing that weirds me out about the squid is that they have humanlike eyeballs," Clif Williams said.

The jumbo flying squid, known by their scientific name Dosidicus gigas, normally nestle in the eastern Pacific Ocean but they have been showing up on beaches from Orange County to the Mexican Border. Scientists suspect that they are coming north with El Nino warm water currents.

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