Supermoon Tides May Have Stranded an Octopus in a Parking Garage

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Tenants of one Miami apartment building have gotten used to finding water in their parking garage, but even they were surprised to see what this month’s super beaver moon dragged in: a small octopus, the Miami Herald reports.

Resident Richard Conlin snapped photos of the small white octopus lying on the wet parking deck and shared them on Facebook.

After the photos were taken, Conlin wrote, building security scooped the octopus into a bucket, walked out to the ocean, and tossed the critter back.

Improbable? Absolutely—but not as improbable as it once was. The apartment building is located right on the beach. Its drains and pipes are connected to the ocean, and unusually high tides can and do wash onto the parking deck’s concrete floors. Sometimes those tides bear passengers.

Biologist Kathleen Sullivan Sealey of the University of Miami says the octopus was likely either a Caribbean reef octopus or an Atlantic pygmy octopus, and that it may have been following a school of fish through the drainage system when it came out the other side. With their soft bodies, octopuses are very skilled at squeezing through small spaces. This talent can make them very hard to contain, but, as we see here, it can also land them in some pretty strange places.

Sealey told the Miami Herald that we can expect more and more marine visitors as sea levels continue to rise. In the last 10 years alone, flooding in Miami Beach has increased by 400 percent. “The sea is moving in,” she said, “so we have to share the space.”