Thousands of Humboldt squids washed up dead along the California coast this week.
Researchers are still trying to understand why the adolescent squids became stranded on the shore and whether they died of natural causes.
"It’s interesting because you see this also in marine mammals," said Hannah Rosen of Stanford’s Gilly Lab, reported KQED.
"Every once in a while you’ll hear of whales or dolphins beaching themselves, and no one’s really sure why. We don’t know if that’s related at all to this or if it’s a completely different mechanism. We’re just really not sure."
The Humboldt squid is native to the Baja peninsula but somehow made their way to Aptos, Calif. just south of San Francisco.
Though the dead squids were only a few feet long, the adults can live to be seven feet and 100 pounds, said an NBC affiliate.
A local ABC News affiliate said that although some of the carcasses are still there, many had already been eaten by raccoons and seagulls.
The news station said the last mass stranding of the squid happened in Washington State in 2004 when 1500 washed ashore.