July 11, 2009

Offshore quake confuses squid

An offshore earthquake that rattled the Southern California coastline early Saturday may have confused squid, sending them toward a beach.

The squid were first spotted at La Jolla Shores beach about 45 minutes after the 7:30 a.m. quake, San Diego 6 reported. The squid, most of them 3 feet to 4 feet long, not only turned up in shallow water, they moved up onto the beach.

Some swimmers and joggers launched an informal squid rescue, getting the invertebrates back in the water.

Scientists say the earthquake, which measured 4.0 on the Richter scale, may have disoriented the squid, sending them landward.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported the earthquake was centered about 30 miles west of La Jolla and 37 miles off San Diego, the Los Angeles Times reported. While it was large enough to be felt in much of western San Diego County and to do some damage if it had been closer, no injuries or property damage was reported.