Every summer since 2002, the waters off the West coast die. And then the giant squids come. It's all thanks to global warming, which causes massive "low oxygen zones" off the coast, in which almost everything in the water dies off due to oxygen starvation. It's already too late to reverse the ocean's "George Romero Tribute," but it's good news for the huge Humboldt squids.

The massive squid predators feed off the "free suffocated food at the edge of that anoxic zone," writes senior ocean analyst Kate Wing. "Like a jubilee for cephalopods." Fisherman have reported sudden huge numbers of giant squid appearing off the West Coast in recent years. The monster squids are eating all of the hake, better known as the fake crab in your supermarket sushi, and upsetting the already demolished ecosystem further. And nobody knew why... until now.

Says Wing:

Bad signs that the winds of change are blowing and they're already affecting the deep patterns that govern the sea. I'm not ruling out zombie fish.

To take your mind off our ecological apocalypse, here are some cute squid hats, including one by our own frequent commenter PoorMojo, being worn by a cute cat:

Giant squid images from Brian Skerry for PBS and National Geographic. [Switchboard, from NRDC]