A tourist killed and ate an octopus he found while on vacation with his family in Greece, only to discover the rare six-limbed "hexapus" was the second ever found.
Labros Hydras, a 49-year-old mechanical engineer from Washington, D.C., was snorkeling in Greece when he saw a six-legged octopus at Papa Nero beach on the Pelion peninsula, according to the United Kingdom's South West News Service.
He pulled the creature from the water and smashed it against a rock to kill it. When he took it to a local tavern to be cooked, the chef refused. Hydras then fried it up on his own, eating it with a slice of tomato and lemon, before he researched and discovered the octopus was actually an extremely rare, six-limbed hexapus.
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"It tasted just like a normal octopus but now I feel really bad," Hydras told SWNS. “When we caught it, there was nothing to suggest it was any different or had been damaged. I thought it had just been born with six tentacles. We go to Greece every year and when we catch an octopus we do the same thing so we just did not think about it.”
He now plans to pursue the "scientific angle" and use his photos to help make scientists more aware of this animal.
The only other hexapus ever discovered was found in Wales in 2008. "Henry" lived out his days at the Blackpool Sea Life Centre in England.
"We've scoured the Internet and talked to lots of other aquariums, and no one has ever heard of another case of a six-legged octopus," an aquarium supervisor told the Agence France-Presse at the time.
One marine biology professional recently offered theories on how the hexapus came to be.
"It is rare to find an octopus like this," Matt Bentley, a marine biology professor at Newcastle University, told the Telegraph about the hexapus found in Greece. "There is every possibility it could have grown an abnormality in early development. But there is nothing to suggest it that it is a different species. Another explanation is it could have been injured and has healed very well over time."
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