I lived in Santa Cruz California for four years. Its voted the most beautiful area of California but also the most expensive. I studied at the University of California Santa Cruz which sits on top of a hill, inside the Redwood Forest, overlooking the ocean.
While living in the forest we heard lots of weird tales of the city. At certain points we explored the forest and found random altars and hidden totem poles. We even found a community of people who live in the trees.
Santa Cruz, although very peaceful has a reputation of being weird in many ways. Here are 5 of the most bizarre facts about Santa Cruz California. Enjoy.
1. The Mystery Spot
The Mystery Spot is a tourist attraction deep in the Redwood Forest of Santa Cruz. What makes this different? It’s a play on Earths magnetic field. The Earths magnetic field is so off, balls roll up instead of down. The buildings are lopsided. The weird gravitational pull makes it hard to walk. Most people report a feeling of dizziness after going there, despite how much they loved the attraction.
2. The Lockness Monster of Santa Cruz
In the 1920s reports of a Lockness Monster began appearing in the newspapers around Santa Cruz and nearby cities.
To make maters worse in 1925 the body of an unidentified sea creature washed on to one of Santa Cruz’s popular beach, Moore Beach, now known as Natural Bridges.
Reports of the monster said its neck was 20 feet long with two fins on both sides. Its mouth had a beak but all of its teeth were missing. The identification of this creature was inconclusive. Some scientists speculate that it was the carcass of a beaked whale.
Due to its popularity, Animal Planet created an episode of a woman named Sharon Novak who was eaten by the creature. You can watch that episode of ‘Lost Tapes’ here.
3. El Diablo Rojo of Monterey Bay
Santa Cruz, located off the Monterey Bay has one of the deepest ocean trenches in the world. This means there are lots of creatures in the water we don’t know about. To this day, we are discovering new species and fish that look like they’re from outer space.
In 2007 fisherman in Santa Cruz began to realize the lack of fish in the water. It seemed strange. They came to discover a pack of giants in the water eating the local fish.
It turns out ‘El Diablo Rojo’ had taken hold of the waters of Santa Cruz. ‘El Diablo Rojo’ is what Mexicans call a giant squid. Giant squids, native of Mexico are rare in California. The giant squids are about seven feet long, travel in packs, and eat lots of fish.
4. The Curse of Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz means Holy Cross in Spanish. Some people say the name itself is cursed. Others say this town is cursed because its the site of a bloody Native American battle. With all the “curses” this city has its hard to believe any of them.
One said curse seems to be living up to its expectations. Santa Cruz will either crumble into the ocean or get destroyed by a tsunami. Santa Cruz is one of the most beautiful spots in California. It sits on the bluffs overlooking the Monterey Bay within the Redwood Forest. With so much natural beauty to offer its hard to imagine anything bad happening here.
In 2011 there was a giant tsunami in Japan that caused a lot of damage and killed lots of people. Even though this tsunami happened, literally across the globe, the wave managed to hit Santa Cruz which dismantled its harbor, flipped over several boats and toppled small piers.
Santa Cruz happens to be a place where lots of weird natural occurrences happen. Perhaps its just unlucky… or is it a curse?
5. The Haunting of Highway 17
Santa Cruz is a beautiful quaint city on the coast. Although it’s beautiful it’s also remote. There are two ways in and out of the city. The main way out is through Highway 17, a windy road that curves through the hill that separates Santa Cruz from other cities like San Jose.
Santa Cruz, reportedly the sight of bloody Native American battle is haunted by the ghosts of Native Americans. Many people report apparitions of Native Americans walking along Highway 17 while they’re driving out-of-town.
To make matters worse they say once you see an apparition of a Native American you are cursed to die before leaving the city. Accidents are common on this highway. Many people say it’s because the highway is haunted.
This is just 5 of the most bizarre facts about Santa Cruz California. Trust me there are more out there.
As an added bonus, I’ve made a little video of the last time I visited there. In this video I put two more weird facts about Santa Cruz that will blow your mind. Check it out and let me know what you think!
Let me break it down for you:
Thinking of traveling to Santa Cruz? Make sure to check out the University. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Hotel prices are not cheap. The weather is usually cold and rainy (except July and August.)
It really is a place to visit and explore. Be careful with Highway 17… Although, I don’t believe its haunted, there are a lot of bad accidents because the road is too windy to navigate.