No one knows why these octopuses came ashore en masse in Wales

A group of octopuses have baffled locals and scientists as they were seen coming ashore nightly along a coast in Wales.

Dozens of curled octopuses were seen three nights in a row on the shore at New Quay beach in Ceredigion, west Wales.

Video of the cephalopods, which only grow to about 50 cm long, was posted to the SeaMor dolphin-watching tour group’s Facebook page on Friday night.

“We went down the beach yesterday to watch the octopus that are coming ashore at night. We collected the ones that were totally out of the water, and plopped them back in at the end of the pier, hopefully saving them from getting stranded,” the post reads.

That wasn’t enough to save all of them though. Photos of the next morning show bodies of the animals on the beach.

Body of a curled octopus found Oct. 29 on a beach in Wales.

Body of a curled octopus found Oct. 29 on a beach in Wales.

Facebook / SeaMôr Dolphin Watching Boat Trips New Quay

Brett Stones, who runs the tour group, told the BBC he first saw the octopuses as he was coming back from a day at sea.

“It was a bit like an End of Days scenario,” he told the BBC.

“There were probably about 20 or 25 on the beach. I have never seen them out of the water like that.”

A group of octopuses is unusual in and of itself, since they are solitary animals. But what makes the mystery even odder is that curled octopuses usually stay in dens below the water.


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British National Marine Museum curator James Wright said their behaviour “suggests there is something wrong with them.”

He told the Telegraph newspaper that the area they were seen had recently been hit by two low-pressure systems and storms, suggesting that might have something to do with the behaviour.

“It could simply be injuries sustained by the rough weather itself or there could be a sensitivity to a change in atmospheric pressure,” he told the newspaper.

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