- NOAA Photo Library on Flickr
- Curled Octopuses are washing up on the beaches in Wales. A local tour group spotted them out late Friday night, and guides said they’d never seen anything like this before. Octopuses can survive outside the water for about 20-30 minutes, and some aren’t making it back into the water in time.
Octopuses in Wales are slithering out of the water for some evening shenanigans.
The gooey, bulbous creatures, which are about the size of a human hand, were spotted crawling ashore over the weekend. Estimates suggest between 20 and 25 of them were seen out of the water on Friday night.
In a video posted on Facebook Saturday, the team at SeaMor Wildlife Tours in the town of New Quay, Wales announced their late-night sighting:
“Never seen anything like it before,” Brett Stones, owner of the SeaMor tour company, told Business Insider.
This ‘Curled Octopus,’ also called a Horned Octopus, is native to oceans from Norway down to the Mediterranean, and is fairly common in the British Isles. Adults weigh between 1 and 2.5 pounds and can live up to five years.
Like fish, octopuses need water to survive, and take in oxygen through their gills. But marine biologist Ken Halanych told Vanity Fair that octopuses can survive for around 20-30 minutes outside the water.
It’s not unheard of for octopuses to come out of the sea – cephalopods experts say the nocturnal, eight-legged creatures have been known to roam the shores at night in search of food.
“Many octopus species emerge to hunt in the pools of water left behind by the receding tide” octopus expert Julian Finn told Scientific American in 2011, when another octopus was spotted coming ashore in California. However, nobody knows why these octopuses have emerged in Wales.
Sadly, it seems not all the octopuses leaving the waters of St George’s Channel are making it back. On their Facebook page, SeaMor Wildlife Tours wrote on Saturday that they spotted “quite a few dead ones on the beach this morning.”