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A scene straight out of a movie is taking place on boats around Southern California: Giant squids are spewing water and ink at passengers.

And people are loving it.

Fishermen say that hundreds of the oversized squids - weighing up to 25 pounds - are turning up in numbers that they haven't see in years.

"It's like Super Soaker time; people get squirted in the face," Hansen said. "It's really exciting for people, and you know they love to eat the stuff too."

Passengers on California-based Dana Wharf Sportfishing's boats recently caught more than 1800 jumbo squids on a single night. Normally, the water is so empty in the winter that the company doesn't even send out nighttime fishing boats.

Fishers are pulling up so much squid, they can't eat it all. Most of the squid that is caught ends up being thrown back into the ocean because people can only take a couple of the species back home because the others are too large, according to Hansen.

Although jumbo squid, also known as Humboldt squid, are the same type found in calamari, Hansen says the change in availability probably won't affect the calamari market.

Commercial squid boats fish for smaller "market squid" instead of dealing with the heavy jumbo squid, according to Hansen.

"You get a couple hundred tons of squid going one way and it'll pull it (the boat) right under the water," he said.

Squid booms every few years are not uncommon for the West Coast, but scientists are still uncertain as to the exact patterns.

Selina Heppell, assistant professor in fisheries and wildlife at Oregon State University, performed research when the species invaded the Oregon coast in 2007. She was particularly interested when they suddenly vanished and then reappeared again.

"They seem to be coming back now, but we expected they would," Heppell said. "There is a periodic ebb and flow of the species."

Bill Gilly, professor of biology at Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station, has been studying the squid for twelve years.

He believes the El Nino between 2009 and 2010 sent away the squid.

"What's going on now is they're returning to coastal regions since 2010," Gilly said.

Earlier this year, Gilly spotted the species up in Monterrey, Calif. He believes they are now moving down the coast toward Mexico to spawn in warmer waters.

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