Hi Carol. The only octopus with an 'air bladder' is Ocythoe tuberculata, and as far as I am aware (I could be wrong), it is present in the female only.
It is unlikely that this is the very same animal, but the incidence of an otherwise (apparently) undamaged female on a beach points to her having recently reproduced and having died of natural causes. If she has recently 'spawned' then it could well be that the earlier images are of a spawning female (that time of the year).
I know this is probably extremly late in the discussion, but I am absolutely fascinated with this whole thread! I've been interested in marine life since I was a kid and I've always loved cephalopods the most. I guess I'll fill all that in when I fix up my profile.
To get to my point. I currently work for an aquatics distributor, and previously I worked in a aquatics retail store. When I worked at the store we came across the well known blue ring...pymgy variety. My boss, knowing my love for cephs, and also knowing the dangers involved with this particular species knew I was distraught since my little buddy, an unidentified octopus a customer brought in, was murdered by two crabs. (I think an associate of mine did it to spite me) We constructed a tank for the blue ring, of course making sure it was safe where no one could touch it.
To get to the point, even though it was a pygmy, it's ability to change shape, more pointedly to extend it's body to almost the size of my hand shows that it was a master of mimicry. Also for any who may not know, Blue Rings generally do not look like their famous relative in Double O 7 ^_^. When feeding, it (I do not know enough to determine male from female >_
"An unknown animal is seen floating in the sea. Weeks later, a dead octopus is found on the beach hundreds of miles away and identified. The investigators concluded that the unknown animal was probably of the same species as the dead octopus."
Well, this probably does come under the category of Old News, but I recently found this amazing Japanese video on YouTube. There's an earlier version from March, so you may have seen it already -- and I apologize if it's been previously posted in this or another forum. But just in case you didn't.... this is breathtaking: