TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida researchers were surprised to find a small stowaway while tagging stone crabs in the Florida Keys.

Scientists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation’s Fisheries Independent Monitoring team were catching stone crabs as part of their stone crab tagging project when they found an octopus hiding inside their trap.


“Make sure to check your trap for stowaways like these hitching a ride back up to your boat and make sure they are safely released back into the water where they belong,” the FWC warned on Facebook.

The FWC shared a video of one of its researchers struggling to keep the active octopus still.

Wildlife officials said they have tagged over 3,100 crabs and continue to sample and tag more crabs every week. To learn more about the project, visit FWC’s website.