Vacationing family finds exceedingly rare hexapus. Kills it. Eats it.

The world's first hexapus* was discovered in 2008 trapped in a lobster pot off the coast of South Wales. It was rescued soon thereafter, not eaten, transferred to Blackpool Sea Life Centre and later released. The world's second hexapus was not so lucky.

Above: Hydras and his children make merry with the hexapus before killing it | SWNS via The Telegraph

A timeline of events:

  • American engineer Labros Hydras flies to Greece on vacation with his family, as he does every year.
  • Hydras and his children discover the hexapus-not-a-six-legged-octopus while snorkeling.
  • Hydras and family kill the creature by dashing it against a rock, in keeping with local custom (i.e. the method of dispatch, not the slaying of rare animals). The process is documented.
  • The family approaches a chef to cook its catch. Chef refuses to prepare the mollusk, calling attention to its rarity, says it should have been left in the sea.
  • Hydras cooks the hexapus anyway. Pairs with lemon, tomato and lettuce. Eats it.
  • Hydras, in active pursuit of hindsight, seeks the expert advice of a biologist friend. Friend informs him of the creature's rarity. Hydras is repentant. Says "it tasted just like normal octopus but now I feel really bad."

Hydras is reportedly working with biologists at Hellenic Centre for Marine Research in Athens to keep this from ever happening again.

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

*While searching for more background on hexapody in octopuses, I learned that the first hexapus was apparently discovered not in 2008, as is widely reported, but the early nineties – at least according to this research paper, which claims to document "the first case of true hexapody among the Octopoda, resulting from bilateral agenesis of one arm pair."

[The Telegraph]