A mysterious sea creature up to 7 feet long, with 10 arms, a sharp beak and a ravenous appetite, has invaded ocean waters off Northern California. Packs of fierce Humboldt Squid attack nearly everything they see, from fish to scuba divers. Marine biologists are working to discover why they’ve headed north from their traditional homes off South America.

If you haven’t read it already, see my Producer’s Notes blog post for this story for the real scoop on squid.

QUEST Season 2 Web Premiere: The Fierce Humboldt Squid 14 March,2016Chris Bauer

  • Yann

    Yay! The new season is here!

    Too bad, unlike the old episodes it doesn’t play on my iPod…
    A quick inspection shows that the video track has been changed from H264 Baseline profile level 3 to H264 Main profile level 3.

  • Hi – thanks for the report, I will review those settings ASAP.

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  • Juaneisha

    I think that this whole thing is both interesting and scary because no one knows where they came from or why they have come back.They are eating everything and are probably going to eat all the fish. Fish will probably be extinct because of them in the next few years. And if they keep envading waters, reproducing, and getting bigger, thay will be the supreme rulers of the oceans, and probably will move to expand their territory, which means that everyone is probably in danger. It also will no longer be safe to go and swim in the ocean anymore, and this scares me.

  • David Ainley

    Great story, and thank you for doing it. I thought you could have done more with the empty ocean niche angle for why these creatures are doing so well off here. You know, that documentary film, “Empty Ocean, Empty Nets” that got shoved aside by the BBC’s “Blue Planet” a few years ago? The growth rate, ultimate size and voraciouness, of chinook salmon comes close to rivaling these squid, but of course we don’t have any more of those, and no more rockfish, nor lingcod, nor etc etc etc. I definitely didn’t appreciate the inference at the end of your piece about fishermen doing their part of rid the ocean of these fish, lest THESE SQUID rid the ocean of the other fish. Please, please, now and again think beyond climate change as the root of all evil, with now evil embodied, too, in Humboldt squid.

  • Markos

    Great production! Let’s kill all those GIANT DEMONS before they grow legs, come out of the ocean and take over the Earth!
    You started there very nicely talking about mysterious creatures that come from the unknown… for a sci-fi movie! Not for a blog that claims to explore science, nature and the environment.
    Then you have this completely mindless troll captain that states they can take “a bite out of you” and the professor who’s been working for 30 years with them and states that “we don’t understand their behavior” yet HE believes that they only live to hunt and feed ?!?
    50 years ago it would be forgiven to make such a video, but in this day and age that we know that we DON’T KNOW how nature works and how beyond us it is, it’s a shame to condemn a creature to extinction because “we shouldn’t feel guilty for killing it”.
    Did you look at those hooks? Do you know how much pain and stress they go through while hunted by the local traders? Of course they’d be aggravated, angry and ferocious in that hostile environment.
    I recently saw a video shot away from that massacre and they seemed just fine around humans and very calm. Check again before demonising creatures from the Earth. FFS we are the invaders not them. Shame!
    But I guess now that the Great White shark is close to being endangered we can look for another creature to hunt…

  • Dennis

    Calamari as appetizers are around $5. Why not harvest these suckers and let the free market handle the problem, in a medium red sauce, of course.

  • bill jesernig

    The eco-system is trying to tell us something….I hope we are listening.

  • John

    We are in for some scary times..

  • Chris Bauer

    Marine biologist William Gilly is currently on an expedition to study Humboldt squid in the Gulf of California. According to Scientific American, he and his colleagues are learning more about the giant squid, their biology and ecology on this National Science Foundation-funded expedition. You can read his blog entries about the trip here:


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Chris Bauer

Chris Bauer is a Freelance Media Producer with over 20 years experience working in broadcast television; producing sports, history, technology, science, environment and adventure related programming. He is a two-time winner of the international Society of Environmental Journalists Award for Outstanding Television Story and has received multiple Northern California Emmy Awards. Some of his Quest stories have been featured in the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival, Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, United Nations Association Film Festival, the BLUE Ocean Film Festival and the Environmental Film Festival in Washington DC. A 5th generation Bay Area resident and a graduate of St. Mary's College of California, his hobbies include canoeing, snowboarding, wood-working and trying to play the ukulele. He and his family live in Alameda, CA.

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