Scientists are investigating after thousands of cuttlefish washed up on the beaches of a popular tourist resort.
Experts are trying to work out why the cuttlefish washed up on a number of beaches at the resort of Bahia Inglesa on northern Chile’s Atacama Dessert coast.
Thousands of the marine molluscs were spotted on both the El Chuncho and Blanca beaches which are popular with tourists at this time of year.
Regional health officials warned people not to touch or eat the cuttlefish as it was not known what caused them to die in such large numbers.
Scientists are investigating and are carrying out tests to try to determine the reason the creatures died.
Cuttlefish have eight arms, two tentacles and distinctive w-shaped eye pupils. They belong to the Cephalopoda family which also includes squid and octopus.
They are known for their unique internal shell, the cuttlebone, and for their intelligence. Recent studies suggest they have one of the largest brain-to-body size ratios of all invertebrates.
Netizen ‘Issabellilla’ speculated: “The cuttlefish are contaminated with metal from the mining camps which deposit rubbish in the sea. They are very sensitive animals.”
And another online commentator, going under the name of ‘Cesar’, added: “All this because of human actions. This is how we are ending our planet.”