Questions for an Expeditioner

Steve O'Shea

TONMO Supporter
Staff member
Nov 19, 2002
I often receive requests for information from folk, but this particular person is a little special, and they certainly caught my attention (something else I cannot place online).

I'm afraid I am tad stretched to capacity at present, and have limited experience with the Humboldt squid (the squid that they are particularly interested in), but perhaps folk online can respond to some of the following questions. I will direct the person to this forum/thread

Their questions are (they intend to dive, and to dive deep to observe Humboldt squid):

1) Are squid, friend or foe?

2) They intend to find this squid and meet it face to face. How would you recommend they do this? (they are a trimix certified scuba diver).

3) At what place in the Sea of Cortez, what time of year, and at what depth may one encounter squid (of the Humboldt variety)?

4) How big are these squid going to be? (What size do they actually get to; and if anyone knows the size of these animals, specific to the Sea of Cortez in summer, how big in this region?).

5) Will I need protection (if to SCUBA dive with them)? After reading the works of Scott Cassell (Squid hunter) and William Gilly (Squid lover) I am at odds as to just how aggressive these cephalopods can truly be. (Ed; O'Shea would certainly NOT recommend diving without some form of protection)

6) Is it true that one squid can have 2600 teeth? How big of an appetite do they have? Are squid fast eaters? Keep in mind that I am reasonably small. (Ed; O'Shea would say negative to the teeth, unless referring to the radula; otherwise insatiable, and yes, respectively)

7) Also would a squid find me delicious? (Ed; depends; I wouldn't want to take the chance)

And 8) and probably the most important question...Suppose I were to dive to a depth of 200 feet in the black of night carrying a large pink strobe light along with my camera gear. Is this a recipe for disaster or a recipe for awesome? (Ed; I am not saying anything; 200 feet deep at night is a recipe for imminent disaster, one way or another)

If anyone can respond to any of these questions it would be truly appreciated. I'll direct the person concerned to this site; hopefully you can all experience dialogue with them.


I will answer the questions online that I can,

1. Squids are our friends, they may attack you but thats not because they are mean. They need to eat like any other thing, and their way of finding out if you are good to eat is to grab you and see.

2. Regular Open Circut SCUBA

3. You need to speak to the local fishermen on the baja side to know this. The squid like any other animal move around and are found in various areas. Best to contact us.

4. Humbold squid get from 1foot to 8 feet

5. Full body armor protection is required along with other special precautions. Future video footage will surface that will prove this to be true.

6. yes the Humboldt squid has teeth in each sucker disk. when they grab you they can draw blood if they hit bare skin. A wetsuit will protect you from these small teeth as they are used just to grab hold of and taste prey. The damage is done when the beak extends out and takes a chunk.

7. A squid will eat any soft bodied thing. The reason we avoid bad bites is because they dont like the feel and tast of the armor.

8. If you have the right protection, gear, and dive plan, its a recipie for awsome. It just depends what your definition is. You can see large groups of squid in daylight also. Being attacked by a shoal of 50 5 foot squid in the dark at 200 feet can be a trying situation on your stress mangement program. With the right protection and gear they can not really kill you so you can relax and get some crazy shots.

Looks like this is gonna be a real squiddy year!

My dear, you may steal the whole thing if so inclined (I'm sure something more clever than mine can be done with it).

Neptune schmeptune! Utter svines vant to destroy our natural heritage for a quick buck!

Gonetobaja, thanks!

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