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Last Updated: Saturday July 18 2009 12:42 GMT

Jumbo squid menacing scuba divers

A Humboldt squid, which is also known as a jumbo flying squid

Gigantic sea monsters menacing scuba divers and invading beaches sounds like something from a horror film, but it's happening in real-life in America.

Jumbo flying squid usually swim in deep waters off the coast of Mexico, but recently loads have been spotted off the coast of San Diego, in California.

They're not bothering swimmers too much as they prefer deeper water, but divers have reported some close encounters.

And dozens of the squid, which grow up to 1.5m-long, have washed up on shore.

The jumbo squid, which are officially know as Humboldt squid, have razor-sharp teeth and can swim up to 15 miles-per-hour.

A map showing where the flying squid have been before
The flying squid also set up home off the Californian coast in 2005 and 2002

One diver told reporters how one of the squid grabbed her with its tentacles.

"I just kicked like crazy," she said. "If that squid wanted to hurt me, it would have."

Similar invasions

It's not the first time the squid have made themselves at home along the Californian coast, but experts still have no idea why they're moving there.

In 2005, hundreds of the creatures washed up off the coast of Orange County, to the north, and in 2002, a similar invasion was reported near San Diego.