I have it on good authority that scuba diving is a relaxing, often beautiful pastime. And since I’ve heard this from multiple people who I have no reason to disbelieve, I choose to take them at their word.

But frankly, I have a hard time believing that any activity in where one encounters the possibility of being attacked by cephalopods the size of a large dog can be called altogether soothing. The recent spate of attacks on divers by swarms of enormous Humboldt squid of the coast of California are, thus, forcing me to question the trust I put in certain friends and loved ones

Humboldt squid are creatures pretty much staright out of a nightmare – they can grow to become 5 feet in length and weigh in at as much as a hundred pounds. Carnivorous and often cannibalistic, the creatures are  strong enough to drag divers and fishermen out of boats or into deep water, using their tentacles  – which are lined with suckers and sharp teeth – to drag prey towards their beaks. Also known as jumbo squid or red devils for their coloration, size and generally unpleasant temperament, the squid usually live in deeper waters off the coast of Mexico.

But whether it’s ocean acidity levels, climate change or a drop in the numbers of their natural predators, the squid are venturing out of their traditional environs, venturing up and and down the west coast of North America and being found as far north as Alaska. The change in range has been accompanied by a mass migration of the enormous squid to the shallow waters off of San Diego, where some divers are avoiding the water out of the perfectly natural fear of being attacked by something that is rather large and has many arms, all of which are lined with teeth.

Video after the break.