A New Kind of Creepy-Crawly: Octopuses Oozing Across the Beach at Night

The tiny town of New Quay in Ceredigion, Wales, is a picturesque seaside resort during the summer. But in recent days, it has seemingly turned into the set of a horror movie, thanks to an eerie natural phenomenon that has puzzled locals and scientists alike. Dozens of curled octopuses—a cephalopod species that's common in the northeast Atlantic, including around the British Isles—have squirmed their way out of the ocean and onto the sand. They've been routinely spotted scuttling along the coast at night, according to The Guardian.

Between 20 and 30 of the nocturnal creatures were seen making evening strolls for three nights in a row. Later, several dead octopuses were discovered washed up on shore. "It was a bit like an end-of-days scenario," a local man named Brett Jones joked to BBC News.

Jones—the owner of SeaMôr Dolphin Watching Boat Trips, a wildlife tourism company—rescued some of the beached octopuses and returned them to the water. He was puzzled by the incidents, telling the Telegraph that curled octopuses typically like to hide beneath rocks in deeper water. He also noted that the octopuses didn't seem to exhibit any signs of injury or harm, according to National Geographic. (Jones did, however, warn people to wear gloves if attempting their own catch-and-release, as curled octopuses "bite like mad.")

Octopuses mainly live in the ocean, although they do occasionally slime onto dry land to hunt prey. So what are they doing roaming New Quay's beaches? Theories range from overcrowding due to skyrocketing populations (which would force the creatures to find new habitats and food sources) to senescence, which is an end-of-life stage that causes octopuses to become disoriented and clumsy, to environmental changes. Some also speculate that storms like Hurricane Ophelia and Storm Brian might be responsible for the creatures' strange behavior.

The mystery hasn't been solved quite yet—but in the meantime, you can watch video of one of New Quay's beached octopuses below, or even lend Jones's rescue efforts a helping hand if you're in the area. (Just remember to bring gloves.)

[h/t The Guardian]

Nearly $100,000 in Instant Ramen Was Stolen in Georgia Noodle Heist

iStock
iStock

It's not easy to steal a small fortune when your target is instant ramen, but a team of thieves in Georgia managed to do just that a few weeks back. As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, the criminals made off with a trailer containing nearly $100,000 worth of noodles, and the local police force is still working to track down the perpetrators.

The heist occurred outside a Chevron gas station in Fayetteville, Georgia some time between July 25 and August 1, 2018. The 53-foot trailer parked in the area contained a large shipment of ramen, which the truck's driver estimates was worth about $98,000. Depending on the brand, that means the convenience food bandits stole anywhere between 200,000 and 500,000 noodle packs.

Some outlets have connected the truck-jacking to a recent string of vehicle-related robberies, but the Fayette County Sheriff's Office told the AJC such reports are inaccurate. Any potential suspects in the case have yet to be revealed.

The outlaws join the list of thieves who have stolen food items in bulk. Some of the most ambitious food heists in the past have centered on 11,000 pounds of Nutella, $75,000 worth of soup, and 6000 cheesecakes.

[h/t The Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

Paris Responds to Its Public Urination Problem By Installing Open-Air Urinals

Thomas Samson, AFP/Getty Images
Thomas Samson, AFP/Getty Images

In between stops at the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, sightseers in Paris might notice some unusual new landmarks marking the city's streets: bright red, open-air urinals. As NPR reports, the so-called "Uritrottoir" (a mashup of the French words for urinal and pavement) have been installed in response to the city's public urination problem, and residents aren't happy about it.

Peeing openly on the streets has been an unofficial tradition in the French capital since the pre-Napoleon era. Relieving oneself on city property is a fineable offense, but that hasn't stopped both tourists and locals from continuing to do it, subjecting bystanders to both the unwelcome sight and the lingering smell.

Now, Paris is taking an if-you-can't-beat-'em-join-'em approach to the issue. Uritrottoir have popped up near some of the city's most famous spots, such as Île Saint-Louis, overlooking the Seine, and Notre-Dame Cathedral. They're about the height and size of trash cans, with a receptacle that's meant to catch pee, not litter. Inside the Uritrottoir, straw and other composting materials absorb the urine and its odors, eventually breaking down into a compost that will feed the plants growing from the top of the box. A conspicuous sign of a man peeing posted above the urinal lets passersby know exactly what the contraption is for.

The built-in planters are meant to present the public urinals as something beautiful and functional, but many of the people who have to look at them every day aren't buying it. Fabienne Bonnat, a local art gallery owner, told CBC Radio, "It's an open door to exhibitionism. Who likes to see that?"

Another Île Saint-Louis gallery owner, who didn't wish to be named, told Reuters, “We’re told we have to accept this but this is absolutely unacceptable. It’s destroying the legacy of the island. Can’t people behave?"

The first three toilets were installed in March with a fourth appearing in July. The city has plans to add a fifth urinal, despite the uproar they've already caused.

[h/t NPR]

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