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Out on a limb! Rare ‘seven-armed octopus’ found washed up on Washington beach

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out on a limb rare seven armed octopus found washed up on washington beach

A rare seven-arm octopus was discovered washed up on an island in Washington State’s Puget Sound.

An outdoorsman said he came across the unusual sea creature on Whidbey Beach early on the morning of August 29, when the tide was still out.

He submitted photos of it to a local wildlife organization, who passed them along to marine life centers, who identified it likely as a seven-legged octopus.

Known formally as Haliphron atlanticus, the scarlet cephalopod actually has a full eight arms but one is hidden except during mating. 

A bright red sea creature found on the beach in Washington's Puget Sound has been identified by marine biologists as a 'seven-armed octopus,' or Haliphron atlanticus, the largest octopus species on Earth

A bright red sea creature found on the beach in Washington’s Puget Sound has been identified by marine biologists as a ‘seven-armed octopus,’ or Haliphron atlanticus, the largest octopus species on Earth

‘I didn’t know for sure it was an octopus,’ writer Ron Newberry told the Whidbey News-Times. ‘It’s pretty common to see large jellyfish washed up on shore. Not knowing what it was, I definitely didn’t want to touch it. It also was obvious it was dead.’

Newberry took several photos of the creature, which he estimated was about three-and-a-half feet long, and shared them with the Whidbey Camano Land Trust to see if staffers could identify it.

They had a few ideas about what it could be – including a East Pacific red octopus or a vampire squid, which typically lives at depths of 2,000 to 3,000 feet.

Bob Kiel, chief engineer at the Seattle Aquarium, told the Trust he thought it might be a dumbo octopus, another deep-sea dweller that can grow to five feet long.

An outdoorsman took photos of the octopus, found on Whidbey Island. He sent them to the Whidbey Camano Land Trust, which forwarded them to researchers at the Smithsonian, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, among other places.

An outdoorsman took photos of the octopus, found on Whidbey Island. He sent them to the Whidbey Camano Land Trust, which forwarded them to researchers at the Smithsonian, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, among other places.

It's unusual to find Haliphron so far north, but climate change has impacted marine life habitats worldwide.  'It's possible this animal was blown into Puget Sound during the wind storm last week and died from our low salinity waters,' said a biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

 It’s unusual to find Haliphron so far north, but climate change has impacted marine life habitats worldwide.  ‘It’s possible this animal was blown into Puget Sound during the wind storm last week and died from our low salinity waters,’ said a biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The images were then shared with researchers at the Smithsonian, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, among other places.

The growing consensus is that the eerie discovery is actually a seven-armed octopus, a.k.a. Haliphron atlanticus.

As its name suggests, Haliphron atlanticus habituates the warmer waters of the Atlantic Ocean – it’s unusual to find one so far north.

But climate change has been altering the habitats of much marine life.

Elaina Jorgensen, a marine biologist at NOAA, said she has seen photos of Haliphron from off the coast of British Columbia.

‘It’s possible this animal was blown into Puget Sound during the wind storm last week and died from our low salinity waters.’

Regardless, Jorgensen said, the cephalopod looked like it was in relatively good condition.

Despite its popular name, the Haliphron does have eight tentacles.

Males appear to only have seven but an additional one, called a hectocotylus, is tucked inside a sac near its eye and is used to help fertilize females.

The arm easily can be missed because of the octopus’ thick skin.

‘That’s why there is a reluctance among cephalopod researchers to refer to this species as ‘the seven-armed octopus,’ said Jorgensen.

Despite its popular name, the Haliphron does have eight tentacles. Males appear to only have seven but an additional one, called a hectocotylus, is tucked inside a sac near its eye and only comes out to help with fertilization

Despite its popular name, the Haliphron does have eight tentacles. Males appear to only have seven but an additional one, called a hectocotylus, is tucked inside a sac near its eye and only comes out to help with fertilization

It’s considered one of the world’s largest octopi, with a damaged specimen reportedly reaching 11 feet and weighing 165 pounds. 

Other Haliphrons have been reported to be 13 feet feet long, according to the Journal of Marine Species, though the species has rarely been seen by humans because of the deep depths in which it typically lives. 

The only other species that comes close to its size is the giant Pacific octopus, which has also been spotted in the region.

Haliphrons swim continuously like jellyfish, and subsist on a diet of jellyfish and other zooplankton.

They’re preyed up by blue sharks, Hawaiian monk seals, sperm whales and swordfish.

Newberry said Whidbey Island is home to a menagerie of aquatic wildlife.

‘I saw a family of river otters swimming about 10 minutes after I saw the octopus,’ he said. ‘Porpoises are a common site from central Whidbey shores. Seals. Sea lions. You name it. Whidbey is a magical place.’

HOW DO OCTOPUSES DEFEND THEMSELVES?

One of the most effective ways octopuses avoid predation is by camouflaging with their environment.

They have special pigment cells allow them to control the colour of their skin, much like chameleons.

As well as colour change they can manipulate the texture of their skin in order to blend in with the terrain. 

As well as camouflage they can escape predators by using a ‘jet propulsion’ method of escape, where they rapidly shoot out water to propel them through the water rapidly.  

The jet of water from the siphon is often accompanied by a release of ink to confuse and evade potential enemies.

The suckers on the tentacles of the eight-legged beasts are extremely powerful and are used to drag prey towards a sharp beak.

As well as protection from other animals, it has been recently found that octopuses can detect the ultrasonic waves that preempt a volcanic eruption or earthquake, giving them enough time to escape.

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Blue Moon: Once-in-19-years event to occur on Halloween night

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blue moon once in 19 years event to occur on halloween night

Legend has it that ghosts and spirits are more active on Halloween, but these ghoulish entities are not the only things coming out on October 31 – a rare Blue Moon is set to rise on the same day. 

The full moon phase, which is the lunar orbs position in in orbit, begins on Saturday at 10:49am ET.

Earth’s natural satellite will not shine blue, but bares the name as it is the second full moon to appear this month – the first occurs October 1.

The cosmic display happens seven times every 19 years, which means the world will not see the next one on October 31 until 2039.

However, this is the first time a Blue Moon has appeared across the world on Halloween since World War II.

Scroll down for video 

Legend has it that ghosts and spirits are more active on Halloween, but these ghoulish entities are not the only things coming out on October 31 - a rare Blue Moon is also set to rise on the same day. Pictured is a Blue Moon snapped in 2018 hanging over San Francisco, California

Legend has it that ghosts and spirits are more active on Halloween, but these ghoulish entities are not the only things coming out on October 31 - a rare Blue Moon is also set to rise on the same day. Pictured is a Blue Moon snapped in 2018 hanging over San Francisco, California

Legend has it that ghosts and spirits are more active on Halloween, but these ghoulish entities are not the only things coming out on October 31 – a rare Blue Moon is also set to rise on the same day. Pictured is a Blue Moon snapped in 2018 hanging over San Francisco, California

It should make for a spectacular show on Halloween that has not happened since 1944.

People in North and South America will have a glimpse of the Blue Moon, along with those in India, Europe and Asia.

The idea of a Blue Moon as the second full moon in a month comes from an article in the March 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine.

This issue published an an article called Once in a Blue Moon by James Hugh Pruett, who referred to the 1937 Maine Farmer’s Almanac, but with a simpler definition.

‘Seven times in 19 years there were – and still are – 13 full moons in a year,’ he wrote.

The full moon phase, which is the lunar orbs position in in orbit, begins on Saturday at 10:49am ET. Earth's natural satellite will not shine blue, but bares the name as it is the second full moon to appear this month – the first occurs October 1

The full moon phase, which is the lunar orbs position in in orbit, begins on Saturday at 10:49am ET. Earth's natural satellite will not shine blue, but bares the name as it is the second full moon to appear this month – the first occurs October 1

The full moon phase, which is the lunar orbs position in in orbit, begins on Saturday at 10:49am ET. Earth’s natural satellite will not shine blue, but bares the name as it is the second full moon to appear this month – the first occurs October 1

‘This gives 11 months with one full moon each and one with two.’

‘This second in a month, so I interpret it, was called Blue Moon.’

A moon can turn blue, but the signing is very rare.

NASA shares that this is also deemed the Hunter’s Moon, the full moon that follows the Harvest Moon that appeared on October 1. 

‘According to the Farmer’s Almanac, with the leaves falling and the deer fattened, this was the time to hunt. Since the harvesters had reaped the fields, hunters could easily see the animals that have come out to glean (and the foxes that have come out to prey on them),’ reads NASA’s statement.

People in North and South America will have a glimpse of the Blue Moon, along with those in India, Europe and Asia. The idea of a Blue Moon as the second full moon in a month comes from an article in the March 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine. Pictured is the Blue Moon hanging over Russia

People in North and South America will have a glimpse of the Blue Moon, along with those in India, Europe and Asia. The idea of a Blue Moon as the second full moon in a month comes from an article in the March 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine. Pictured is the Blue Moon hanging over Russia

People in North and South America will have a glimpse of the Blue Moon, along with those in India, Europe and Asia. The idea of a Blue Moon as the second full moon in a month comes from an article in the March 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine. Pictured is the Blue Moon hanging over Russia 

‘The earliest use of the term ‘Hunter’s Moon’ cited in the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1710.’ 

On Halloween night, Jupiter will appear in the southwest and Mars will shine brightly in the east-southeast.

However, at 2am ET we ‘fall back’ one hour to 1am ET -but the good news is, you will have an extra hour of sleep. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Blue Moon: Rare lunar spectacle WORLDWIDE for first time since WWII

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blue moon rare lunar spectacle worldwide for first time since wwii

Legend has it that ghosts and spirits are more active on Halloween, but these ghoulish entities are not the only things coming out on October 31 – a rare Blue Moon is set to rise on the same day. 

The full moon phase, which is the lunar orbs position in in orbit, begins on Saturday at 10:49am ET.

Earth’s natural satellite will not shine blue, but bares the name as it is the second full moon to appear this month – the first occurs October 1.

The cosmic display happens seven times every 19 years, which means the world will not see the next one on October 31 until 2039.

However, this is the first time a Blue Moon has appeared across the world on Halloween since World War II.

Scroll down for video 

Legend has it that ghosts and spirits are more active on Halloween, but these ghoulish entities are not the only things coming out on October 31 - a rare Blue Moon is also set to rise on the same day. Pictured is a Blue Moon snapped in 2018 hanging over San Francisco, California

Legend has it that ghosts and spirits are more active on Halloween, but these ghoulish entities are not the only things coming out on October 31 - a rare Blue Moon is also set to rise on the same day. Pictured is a Blue Moon snapped in 2018 hanging over San Francisco, California

Legend has it that ghosts and spirits are more active on Halloween, but these ghoulish entities are not the only things coming out on October 31 – a rare Blue Moon is also set to rise on the same day. Pictured is a Blue Moon snapped in 2018 hanging over San Francisco, California

It should make for a spectacular show on Halloween that has not happened since 1944.

People in North and South America will have a glimpse of the Blue Moon, along with those in India, Europe and Asia.

The idea of a Blue Moon as the second full moon in a month comes from an article in the March 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine.

This issue published an an article called Once in a Blue Moon by James Hugh Pruett, who referred to the 1937 Maine Farmer’s Almanac, but with a simpler definition.

‘Seven times in 19 years there were – and still are – 13 full moons in a year,’ he wrote.

The full moon phase, which is the lunar orbs position in in orbit, begins on Saturday at 10:49am ET. Earth's natural satellite will not shine blue, but bares the name as it is the second full moon to appear this month – the first occurs October 1

The full moon phase, which is the lunar orbs position in in orbit, begins on Saturday at 10:49am ET. Earth's natural satellite will not shine blue, but bares the name as it is the second full moon to appear this month – the first occurs October 1

The full moon phase, which is the lunar orbs position in in orbit, begins on Saturday at 10:49am ET. Earth’s natural satellite will not shine blue, but bares the name as it is the second full moon to appear this month – the first occurs October 1

‘This gives 11 months with one full moon each and one with two.’

‘This second in a month, so I interpret it, was called Blue Moon.’

A moon can turn blue, but the signing is very rare.

NASA shares that this is also deemed the Hunter’s Moon, the full moon that follows the Harvest Moon that appeared on October 1. 

‘According to the Farmer’s Almanac, with the leaves falling and the deer fattened, this was the time to hunt. Since the harvesters had reaped the fields, hunters could easily see the animals that have come out to glean (and the foxes that have come out to prey on them),’ reads NASA’s statement.

People in North and South America will have a glimpse of the Blue Moon, along with those in India, Europe and Asia. The idea of a Blue Moon as the second full moon in a month comes from an article in the March 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine. Pictured is the Blue Moon hanging over Russia

People in North and South America will have a glimpse of the Blue Moon, along with those in India, Europe and Asia. The idea of a Blue Moon as the second full moon in a month comes from an article in the March 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine. Pictured is the Blue Moon hanging over Russia

People in North and South America will have a glimpse of the Blue Moon, along with those in India, Europe and Asia. The idea of a Blue Moon as the second full moon in a month comes from an article in the March 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine. Pictured is the Blue Moon hanging over Russia 

‘The earliest use of the term ‘Hunter’s Moon’ cited in the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1710.’ 

On Halloween night, Jupiter will appear in the southwest and Mars will shine brightly in the east-southeast.

However, at 2am ET we ‘fall back’ one hour to 1am ET -but the good news is, you will have an extra hour of sleep. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

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Blue Moon: Rare lunar phenomenon to be seen worldwide on Halloween

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blue moon rare lunar phenomenon to be seen worldwide on halloween

Legend has it that ghosts and spirits are more active on Halloween, but these ghoulish entities are not the only things coming out on October 31 – a rare Blue Moon is set to rise on the same day. 

The full moon phase, which is the lunar orbs position in in orbit, begins on Saturday at 10:49am ET.

Earth’s natural satellite will not shine blue, but bares the name as it is the second full moon to appear this month – the first occurs October 1.

The cosmic display happens seven times every 19 years, which means the world will not see the next one on October 31 until 2039.

However, this is the first time a Blue Moon has appeared across the world on Halloween since World War II.

Scroll down for video 

Legend has it that ghosts and spirits are more active on Halloween, but these ghoulish entities are not the only things coming out on October 31 - a rare Blue Moon is also set to rise on the same day. Pictured is a Blue Moon snapped in 2018 hanging over San Francisco, California

Legend has it that ghosts and spirits are more active on Halloween, but these ghoulish entities are not the only things coming out on October 31 - a rare Blue Moon is also set to rise on the same day. Pictured is a Blue Moon snapped in 2018 hanging over San Francisco, California

Legend has it that ghosts and spirits are more active on Halloween, but these ghoulish entities are not the only things coming out on October 31 – a rare Blue Moon is also set to rise on the same day. Pictured is a Blue Moon snapped in 2018 hanging over San Francisco, California

It should make for a spectacular show on Halloween that has not happened since 1944.

People in North and South America will have a glimpse of the Blue Moon, along with those in India, Europe and Asia.

The idea of a Blue Moon as the second full moon in a month comes from an article in the March 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine.

This issue published an an article called Once in a Blue Moon by James Hugh Pruett, who referred to the 1937 Maine Farmer’s Almanac, but with a simpler definition.

‘Seven times in 19 years there were – and still are – 13 full moons in a year,’ he wrote.

The full moon phase, which is the lunar orbs position in in orbit, begins on Saturday at 10:49am ET. Earth's natural satellite will not shine blue, but bares the name as it is the second full moon to appear this month – the first occurs October 1

The full moon phase, which is the lunar orbs position in in orbit, begins on Saturday at 10:49am ET. Earth's natural satellite will not shine blue, but bares the name as it is the second full moon to appear this month – the first occurs October 1

The full moon phase, which is the lunar orbs position in in orbit, begins on Saturday at 10:49am ET. Earth’s natural satellite will not shine blue, but bares the name as it is the second full moon to appear this month – the first occurs October 1

‘This gives 11 months with one full moon each and one with two.’

‘This second in a month, so I interpret it, was called Blue Moon.’

A moon can turn blue, but the signing is very rare.

NASA shares that this is also deemed the Hunter’s Moon, the full moon that follows the Harvest Moon that appeared on October 1. 

‘According to the Farmer’s Almanac, with the leaves falling and the deer fattened, this was the time to hunt. Since the harvesters had reaped the fields, hunters could easily see the animals that have come out to glean (and the foxes that have come out to prey on them),’ reads NASA’s statement.

People in North and South America will have a glimpse of the Blue Moon, along with those in India, Europe and Asia. The idea of a Blue Moon as the second full moon in a month comes from an article in the March 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine. Pictured is the Blue Moon hanging over Russia

People in North and South America will have a glimpse of the Blue Moon, along with those in India, Europe and Asia. The idea of a Blue Moon as the second full moon in a month comes from an article in the March 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine. Pictured is the Blue Moon hanging over Russia

People in North and South America will have a glimpse of the Blue Moon, along with those in India, Europe and Asia. The idea of a Blue Moon as the second full moon in a month comes from an article in the March 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine. Pictured is the Blue Moon hanging over Russia 

‘The earliest use of the term ‘Hunter’s Moon’ cited in the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1710.’ 

On Halloween night, Jupiter will appear in the southwest and Mars will shine brightly in the east-southeast.

However, at 2am ET we ‘fall back’ one hour to 1am ET -but the good news is, you will have an extra hour of sleep. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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