Brendan Weber

Sneaky Octopus Spotted Slinking Around Peninsula Tide Pools

You don't see this every day.

Vicky Vásquez, a graduate student with the Pacific Shark Research Center at the Moss Landing Marine Lab, was peeking around some tide pools at Pillar Point in Half Moon Bay on Tuesday when she stumbled upon a red octopus wriggling its way along the rocks.

The cephalopod, which Vásquez described as being about the size of an apple or an orange, was larger than most that hang out around the tide pools, but to see the tentacle-armed creature crawl around above water wasn't too much of a surprise.

"It's very common for an octopus to go across a tide pool," Vásquez said. "That behavior is normal."

Vicky Vásquez
An octopus slinks its way along the rocks at Pillar Point in Half Moon Bay. (Dec. 30, 2016)

The best chance to catch a glimpse of a red octopus is turn over tide pool rocks, but be warned. That species is venomous so Vásquez cautions folks not to get too friendly with the marine animal.

The graduate student was marked with a scar in the past after another red octopus decided to take a tiny bite out of her hand.

Tuesday's run-in wasn't the first time Vásquez has come across a unique marine creature. Last year, she helped discover the "Ninja Lanternshark," a rare shark species that can glow in the dark.

To stay up to date with the latest marine discoveries, follow Vásquez on Twitter and the Moss Landing Marine Lab on Facebook

Contact Us