The marine creatures that end up in a county aquarium always amaze staff. A large crab, an odd shaped crab and a massive lobster have already been hauled up this year, not to mention the discovery of an unusual worm.

Now a tiny octopus is recovering at Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium after being discovered hauled up in the nets of a Cornish fishing boat 25 miles off the south west coast.

The two-centimetre-long curled octopus was spotted clinging to the netting by an eagle-eyed deckhand on board the fishing vessel ‘Silver Pearl’.

It was only while the crew were sorting their nets that the tiny cephalopod – who has been nicknamed Sadie by skipper David Pascoe – was found and placed in to a bucket of seawater.

On his return to port David contacted marine experts at the Blue Reef Aquarium to see if they would be able to care for it.

Blue Reef curator Matt Slater said: “Sadie is definitely the smallest curled octopus I have ever come across and it’s probably the fact that she is so tiny that saved her from injury.

“She’s in excellent condition and is a stunning specimen; capable of the most extraordinary colour changes.

“Since arriving here at the aquarium we have placed her in a quarantine tank to monitor her condition and ensure that she is feeding. However her progress is so good that we are hoping to be able to put her into one of our public displays in the next day or so,” he added.

Curled octopus get their name from their slender, tapering arms which curl at the end. Although they are usually reddish brown in colour they can change shades quickly and discharge ‘ink’ when threatened.

They spend much of their time lying low in holes and crevices or among rocks.