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Researchers with the Ionian Dolphin Project, part of the Tethys Research Institute, were observing a foursome of dolphins near the island of Kalamos off the west coast of Greece. Suddenly, one of the dolphins leapt out of the water with something strange dangling from its stomach. It wasn't until the researchers examined their photos of the leap that they realized the unidentified object
was an octopus.
The tentacled hitchhiker was attached to the dolphin's genital slit. Photographer Joan Gonzalvo isn't sure what the octopus was up to, though he told New Scientist that perhaps the dolphin tried to eat the octopus and the animal lodged itself along the dolphin's genital slit to escape.
The dolphin may have been leaping from the water to detach its uninvited guest, Gonzalvo, the project manager of the Ionian Dolphin Project, wrote on the organization's blog. After shaking the octopus loose, the dolphin continued to swim with no signs of discomfort, he added.
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