An octopus found stranded on Heacham beach before Christmas has recovered to take up a starring role at Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary.
One of two lesser octopuses mysteriously left high and dry on neighbouring beaches on the same day in mid-December, the other has since passed away.
Sea Life curator Kieran Copeland said: “No-one knows what caused these intelligent and enigmatic eight legged creatures to end up out of the water.
“Initially, both seemed to recover well from their ordeal, but one passed away after the first couple of weeks.’
“They have very short life-spans, a maximum of three years, and there’s no way of knowing how old they are, or what prompted them to crawl out of the sea, if that is what happened.”
More commonly found around Scotland and off the west coast of the UK, it is possible they drifted south in pursuit of migrating crabs, their favourite prey.
“Since we don’t know what led to them getting into trouble, we felt the surviving octopus would be best staying with us where it will be well fed and well cared for,” said Mr Copeland.
The new resident has been given a luxurious display tank at the Sea Life Sanctuary, complete with hidey-holes and convenient nooks and crannies where it can avoid the close scrutiny of too many human admirers if it wishes.
“With their doughnut-shaped brains, blue blood and colour changing abilities, not to mention eight legs and a parrot-like beak, octopuses are always fascinating to see and to learn about,” said Mr Copeland.