Seal slaps kayaker with octopus
A mysterious creature was found on the shores of Texas and experts can’t seem to agree on what it is.
A beachgoer was near Mansfield Channel on Padre Island when they spotted something a little bizarre, Padre Island National Seashore wrote in a post on Facebook.
“None of us quite knew what it was, so we reached out to some local experts,” the post said.
Officials say some experts believe the creature is a blanket octopus, a resilient cephalopod immune to stings from jellyfish and Portuguese man-of-war, according to National Geographic. The blanket octopus has even been known to rip off the latter’s tentacles to wield as a weapon.
Others say it’s not a blanket octopus at all, but a cuttlefish: masters of disguise known for their ability to change skin color and “emulate virtually any surroundings and thereby hide in plain sight,” according to PBS.
Officials say the creature was returned to the water and swam off on its merry way, but the animal has commenters equally as confused in its wake.
“Cuttlefish,” one user wrote.
“This is NOT a cuttlefish.“
“Cute! Looks like an octopus to me! Cuttlefish usually have longer, flatter bodies and shorter tentacles,” another wrote.
“Maybe it’s an octopus imitating a cuddle fish!?”
Several users added to the debate, proposing something else entirely: the vampire squid.
Vampire squid are characterized by their capes and light-emitting ink, according to Oceana.org. They also “produce light” at the ends of each of their tentacles which some experts believe could be a form of communication.
“This is a vampire squid. It’s an amazing find,” a user wrote.