As we all know, anything can clog up a sink: food, hair -- even an unholy octopus. That's exactly what Rose Park resident Crystal Bush found in her drain Wednesday evening.---
After dinner, Bush went to do the dishes and the drain began to back up, which, according to her, is not uncommon, since she lives in an older home. On further inspection, she saw something tentacle-like poking out of the drain. So, obviously, she stuck a fork down there and scooped out the already-dead octopus.
“I had no idea what it was. I thought it could have been food,” Bush says. Then she noticed a pair of eyes looking back at her.
Bush posted the pictures of the sink octopus on Facebook and Reddit, and her friends were just as shocked as she was. “Everyone I told was, like, your husband is playing a joke on you. But I’m, like, there's no way my husband is that funny."
Bush is convinced another house flushed it down the drain and then it somehow came up through hers. Though ... it could have just sneaked in with some purchased seafood—or maybe it walked there.
As one might assume, situations like this should not happen. "It doesn't make sense," said Susan McMullian, certificates of registration specialist for Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. "Native reptiles and amphibians might be able to, but an octopus, I don’t know how.”
The octopus would have a difficult time surviving in the sewers because it cannot survive out of salt water. Plus, Salt Lake City's biggest defense against unwanted octopi is our chlorinated water supply, which makes it difficult for small exotic fish and invertebrates to survive.
McMullian has heard of situations where snakes have come up toilets. Snakes can make their way into sewers and, because of their slim shape, can easily navigate through pipes. According to McMullian, the snakes typically found in toilets are harmless garter snakes, but the occasional rattlesnake will pop up.
But it is worth mentioning that octopi can fit into incredibly small spaces, like drains, because the only hard part of their body is their beak. Their soft bodies allow them to contort and even shrink themselves, making it easy for them to navigate pipes, for example:
Full-grown octopi, which can get up to 22 pounds, can fit through a pipe an inch and a half wide. "They squeeze like crazy," said Brent, a sales associate at Mark’s Ark, a pet store that also sells exotic fish. Mark’s Ark and other pet stores in the Salt Lake area typically don’t sell octopi because they can actually lift the lids off of tanks, making them difficult to contain.
As for what Bush did with her unwanted sink octopus: “My husband didn't really care," said Bush, "So, he just washed it down the drain, then turned the garbage disposal on."