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Rare white octopus displayed at western Japan aquarium

A rare white octopus is seen at the Kaikyokan aquarium in the western Japan city of Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, on Oct. 17, 2019. (Mainichi/Rokuhei Sato)

SHIMONOSEKI, Yamaguchi -- A rare white octopus caught off Fukuoka Prefecture earlier this year has gone on display at the Kaikyokan aquarium here in western Japan.

The octopus was caught in a pot set by Hiromi Kato in the sea near Nishihatta Port in the town of Chikujo, Fukuoka Prefecture, in early October. The rare fish was offered to the aquarium on Oct. 8 and had been fed with crabs. The public display started on Oct. 17.

Common octopuses are brownish and can change their body color to blend into their surroundings. Kenta Tamai, a curator of the aquarium, said, "None of the staff members have ever seen one (a white octopus). It's rare even on a global scale."

Tamai has not seen the white octopus change its body color. "I guess it had difficulty catching food and protecting itself from moray eels, which are its natural predators," he said.

In the aquarium, the octopus, which measures about 15 centimeters across, hides under rocks and can be spotted stretching its tentacles out when food appears.

(Japanese original by Rokuhei Sato, Shimonoseki Bureau)

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