Friday, July 5, 2013

Out-of-place octopus

While octopus have been known to traverse land, they have not yet been shown to climb mountains. Either this one was the exception, or it was a hitchhiker… Climber Dave Ascough found the 8" (27m) animal just 33' (10m) from the top of the tallest mountain in England. Scafell Pike (altitude 3,209' or 978m) in Cumbria is one of the mountains that must be summitted within 24 hours to meet the Three Peaks Challenge. The others are Ben Nevis (4,409' or 1344m), the highest mountain in Scotland, and Snowdon (3,560' or 1085m), the highest mountain in Wales. In advance of the contestants, many of them climbing for charity, volunteers were scouring the mountainside to remove litter. That's when Ascough discovered the octopus and notes, "My first reaction was that someone might have carried it up there, but it's quite possible a bird could have brought it up there." But wouldn't any self-respecting bird stop to retrieve such a prize?

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