Thousands of dead squid have washed up on the Chilean shores of Santa Maria Island over the past week. The reason for a mass die-out of these large cephalopods is so far a mystery. The mass death has prompted health concerns locally as around 10,000 decomposing squid bodies have invaded a beach on the small island, causing something of a stench, according to Latin Correspondent Technicians from the Chilean National Service for Fisheries and Aquaculture (Sernapesca) have collected samples of the dead squid and water for analysis in specialized centers.

Experts say the phenomenon may have been caused by higher than usual seawater temperatures, but have not ruled out pollution either. The arrival of dead fish and mollusks on Santa Maria’s beaches at this time of year is not unusual, but this is the first time it has reached biblical proportions. FULL REPORT