What the heck are those things washing on Pinellas shores?

Perhaps hundreds, maybe more tiny little octopuses washed up on Pinellas beaches this week. They were spotted around Pass-a-Grille Beach on Monday after strong onshore winds blew marine debris close to shore. This photo was from Zac Sweeney, a beachgoer from St. Petersburg, who scooped up a few dozen of them and released them back into the water.

The Tampa Bay Times reported:

Based on Sweeney’s photographs, it appears the octopuses are juveniles, according to Cayli Carson, a biologist at the Florida Aquarium. Some female octopuses can lay up to 200,000 eggs, but that doesn’t mean each egg will hatch.

It’s likely that they blew in during this weekend’s storms, Carson said.

“During my six years living here, I’ve never seen this happen before,” Carson said in an interview. “I would expect during hurricanes or bigger storms we’d see something like that, but I’ve never seen it.”


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