How a journalist at the turn of 1800 describes an octopus


Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
In case the post becomes hard to find or it is difficult to read the newspaper clipping, I typed the description for posterity:
Last Monday a man, at Eastdean, picked up on the sea-beach, near that place, a substance of a very singular nature: -- The body is six or eight inches long, and about a span round; the head behind resembles the head of a child, shaved, the front being covered with a loose skin, capable of being turned up, which then exposed an even surface but without eyes or any aperture whatever: The breast is not unlike that common to the human species, and it has eight distinct tails, nine or ten inches long, of the size of one's finger, tapering and curiously jointed: that it appears totally destitute of every thing necessary to have given it progressive motion, either in or out of the water. It was perfectly fresh, but to the sight disgusting in the extreme. The man took it to East-Bourn, in order to have it preserved in spirits, where he was advised to send it to the British Museum.

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