A New Kind of Creepy-Crawly: Octopuses Oozing Across the Beach at Night

The tiny town of New Quay in Ceredigion, Wales, is a picturesque seaside resort during the summer. But in recent days, it has seemingly turned into the set of a horror movie, thanks to an eerie natural phenomenon that has puzzled locals and scientists alike. Dozens of curled octopuses—a cephalopod species that's common in the northeast Atlantic, including around the British Isles—have squirmed their way out of the ocean and onto the sand. They've been routinely spotted scuttling along the coast at night, according to The Guardian.

Between 20 and 30 of the nocturnal creatures were seen making evening strolls for three nights in a row. Later, several dead octopuses were discovered washed up on shore. "It was a bit like an end-of-days scenario," a local man named Brett Jones joked to BBC News.

Jones—the owner of SeaMôr Dolphin Watching Boat Trips, a wildlife tourism company—rescued some of the beached octopuses and returned them to the water. He was puzzled by the incidents, telling the Telegraph that curled octopuses typically like to hide beneath rocks in deeper water. He also noted that the octopuses didn't seem to exhibit any signs of injury or harm, according to National Geographic. (Jones did, however, warn people to wear gloves if attempting their own catch-and-release, as curled octopuses "bite like mad.")

Octopuses mainly live in the ocean, although they do occasionally slime onto dry land to hunt prey. So what are they doing roaming New Quay's beaches? Theories range from overcrowding due to skyrocketing populations (which would force the creatures to find new habitats and food sources) to senescence, which is an end-of-life stage that causes octopuses to become disoriented and clumsy, to environmental changes. Some also speculate that storms like Hurricane Ophelia and Storm Brian might be responsible for the creatures' strange behavior.

The mystery hasn't been solved quite yet—but in the meantime, you can watch video of one of New Quay's beached octopuses below, or even lend Jones's rescue efforts a helping hand if you're in the area. (Just remember to bring gloves.)

[h/t The Guardian]

Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar

Funko
Funko

Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

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Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

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Profane Polly: Expletive-Spewing Parrots Have Been Removed From an England Zoo

"F*ck off!"
"F*ck off!"
AndreaLynnStocker/iStock via Getty Images

In any business, it’s important to make customers feel welcome. Having employees or representatives immediately begin launching expletives and insults, for example, would offend patrons and lead to mixed or negative online reviews.

That’s likely one reason Lincolnshire Wildlife Park, a zoo in eastern England, opted to remove five parrots from the main park after the birds greeted visitors by telling them to “f*ck off.”

According to CNN, the avian agitators were recently donated to the park by five different owners and immediately made their temperaments known. The African grey parrots labeled one employee “fat” and launched other insults whenever staff or guests would walk by their enclosure.

While some guests enjoyed the profane banter, their laughter only encouraged the parrots to continue swearing. Park officials worried that visitors would be bothered by the four-letter-filled ranting and decided to remove the birds from public display.

The birds haven’t been kicked out of the park entirely. Employees are hoping a cooling-down period might help the parrots adjust. But being with other birds could also provide them with an opportunity to become a bad influence.

Steve Nichols, chief executive of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Park, told the BBC that he's "hoping" the birds will learn more appropriate words, "but if they teach the others bad language and I end up with 250 swearing birds, I don't know what we'll do."

[h/t CNN]