The activity is suspected to be connected with depressions caused by the recent storms Ophelia and Brian over the Irish Sea.

As octopuses are rarely found in the intertidal zone, let alone out of water, where they cannot survive for long, experts believe they have either been physically injured in the storms or affected by the dramatic atmospheric-pressure changes.

Curled octopuses (Eledone cirrhosa), which typically measure about 50cm, normally tend to stay well concealed, and although their numbers have increased in recent years they are not often seen by divers. 

The octopuses were first spotted coming ashore by SeaMor Dolphin Watching Boat Trips owner Brett Jones, as he brought his boat back to New Quay at 10pm on Friday, 27 October. 

“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” he told Wales Online. “They were walking on the tips of their legs. A friend of mine said it had happened the night before and there were about 20 last night.

“We picked them up and dropped them in the water at the end of the pier. If people are able to they should pick them up and put them back, as they need to go back into the water very quickly. A few dead ones were washed up on the beach this morning.”

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