2020 was definitely filled with all things unexpected – from the coronavirus to economic collapse, people surely need a break. We have compiled some of the strangest ocean animals that washed ashore in 2020 to keep your mind off the bad news.

1. Giant squid with foot-wide eyes

It is very rare to see a giant squid (Architeuthis dux). So when people found one washed ashore in Cape Town, South Africa on June 7, they immediately took photographs that shocked the internet. The squid has eight arms and two tentacles that are covered with serrated suckers. It also has large eyes (about 1 foot, or 30cm in diamater), and are reported to reach up to 60 feet (18m) in length.

The discovered squid is now part of the collections of Iziko Museums of South Africa. Researchers hope that its DNA can determine if there is just one or many species of giant squid living underneath.

2. Octopus with only 7 arms

The octopus with only 7 arms was spotted on the rocky beach near Seattle. With only even arms, it was clearly a cephalopod, a group which included squid, octopus, cuttlefish, and nautilus.

Experts arrived at the scientific consensus that the seven-armed octopus (Haliphron atlanticus) is a deepwater creature that does not swim in Washington’s cold coastal waters. Despite being known for having only seven arms, the octopus in fact, have more. Males have an eighth arm that is used during mating, and it stays tucked away in a sac near its right eye when not used.

(Image: Ron Newberry/Whidbey Camano Land Trust)

3. Mass die-off

Thousands of dead sea creatures was washed ashore on the remote Russian peninsula of Kamchatka, due to poisoning. Surfers were first reported to have felt a mild burning in ther eyes after going into the bay.

The poisoning event wiped out as many as 95% of the animals in Kamchatka’s Avacha Bay, local researchers said.

(Image: Yelena Vereshchaka/TASS via Getty Images)

4. Spider gets pet goldfish out of pond

A man was horrified to discover that his pet goldfish, Cleo, died at the hands of a spider.

Cleo lived in a pond by the man’s house. The spider, which is a semiaquatic arachnid that can walk on still water, preyed on the fish and took it out as his meal.

5. Shark vs swordfish

A dead thresher shark was washed ashore on the coast of Libya with a swordfish’s “sword” embedded in its body. Although swordfish are known to be agressive to animals perceived as threat, they are not documented to attack thresher sharks before.

Researchers said thresher sharks eat small fish and could not be a threat to swordfish. Scientists said the stabbing could have been an accident.

(Image: The Ichthological Society of Japan 2020)

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