Halloween season is here, and with it comes the usual host of spooky occurrences. Flight 666 just made its last landing in HEL, another creepy clown accosted some kid, and a couple of teens have been scaring people in elaborate shrub disguises. And now, a swarm of octopuses has begun haunting beaches in West Wales during the night, the BBC reports—just to prove there's nothing more terrifying than the natural world itself.
According to the BBC, the dozens of octopuses were first spotted oozing their way across the sand on Cardigan Bay last Friday night, just in time for Halloween weekend. They appear to be a species of curled octopus that can grow up to a foot and a half long, but videos of the tentacled fleet show that most were smaller than that.
"There were probably about 20 or 25 on the beach," dolphin tour guide Brett Stones told the BBC after coming across the octopus army after work. "I have never seen them out of the water like that."
Stones and some fellow beachgoers attempted to help return the beached beasts to the sea, but more have reportedly appeared each night since—and no one has any idea why.
"It was a bit like an end of days scenario," Stones said.
Octopuses are smart. They use tools and appear to strategize and need to be entertained while in captivity or else they'll mastermind an escape. But it doesn't seem like this is phase one in some kind of cephalopod invasion. The real reason behind the octopuses arrival is likely a lot bleaker than that.
James Wright of the National Marine Aquarium in England told the Telegraph that it is "quite odd" for the octopuses to come ashore en masse. There is likely "something wrong with them," potentially related to the recent storms that have hit Ireland and Wales.
"As the areas where they are exhibiting this odd behavior coincides with the two areas hit by the two recent low pressures depressions and associated storms of Ophelia and Brian," he said. "It could be supposed that these have affected them. It could simply be injuries sustained by the rough weather itself or there could be a sensitivity to a change in atmospheric pressure."
If that's the case, then the real ghoul here isn't a flock of evil tentacles coming to lay their suckers on your flesh, but climate change—which is making extreme weather more and more common and will likely decimate the coral reefs, eradicate thousands of species, and fill cities across the US with water over the next few decades.
Are you scared yet? Happy Halloween, everybody!