Woman Finds What She Hasn't Seen In 22 Years Washed Up On Texas Beach

By Dani Medina

January 4, 2023

Photo: Getty Images

Judith Groome is a longtime visitor of South Padre Island. She's walked up and down the same stretch of beach for 22 years. But last week, she discovered something she'd never seen before.

Groome, 74, told MySanAntonio that she spotted a dead octopus on the shore behind La Copa Inn on South Padre Island around 4:15 p.m. on December 27. The tide was coming in and when she walked back to that spot, the octopus was taken out to sea again with the tide.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said this species of octopus — the common octopus — isn't a rarity in the Gulf of Mexico. Common octopi are typically found in reefs and rocky areas. Mark Fisher, TPWD Coastal Fisheries Division Science Director, said the octopus Groome found was "probably living among the rocks at the South Padre jetties."

"They have surprisingly short lifespans, 12-18 months. Hard to say if this individual succumbed to the cold, or simply reached the end of their life. Females guard their eggs until they hatch, then die," Fisher said.

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