Rare Octopus Eaten: Labros Hydras Catches Incredibly Rare 'Hexapus' And Eats It

By iScienceTimes Staff on July 26, 2013 4:09 PM EDT

octopus
A rare octopus eaten by Labros Hydras was only the second of its kind to ever be found. The "hexapus" had six legs, unlike a normal eight-legged octopus (pictured here). (Photo: Reuters)

A rare octopus eaten by an American family while vacationing in Greece was so rare that it was only the second of it's kind to ever be found.

Labros Hydras, 49, was snorkeling with his family when he grabbed the rare octopus. He smashed the octopus against a rock, following the local tradition, and then took the rare octopus to a tavern to cook it.

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But the tavern refused to prepare it, because of the rarity of the octopus, which only had six legs. This "hexapus" was the second of its kind; the first hexapus was discovered just five years ago, in North Wales.

Hydras fried the rare octopus himself, only realizing after the fact just  how rare the octopus was.

"I wanted to find out more, but there was no internet where we were," Labros said. "I then called my friend who is a biologist and he told me it was true and I was horrified."

To repent for killing and eating the rare octopus, Labros says he wants to raise awareness about six-legged octopi.

"I want to pursue the scientific angle to make scientists aware of the existence of the wild hexapus," Labros said. "It is the least that I can do given my ignorance and guilt that I feel for killing such a rare animal."

The hexapus is not a distinct species of octopus, but is likely the result of a birth deformity.  

"There is every possibility it could have grown an abnormality in early development," said Matt Bentley, a professor of marine biology at Newcastle University, in North East England. "But there is nothing to suggest it that it is a different species." Betnley added, "Another explanation is it could have been injured and has healed very well over time."

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