Dad found ‘enormous’ octopus on UK beach - and ate it at home in a stir-fry for tea

Ziggy Austin with the seven foot octopus at Hopes Nose near Torquay, Devon and the octopus-based stir fry. Ziggy Austin with the seven foot octopus at Hopes Nose near Torquay, Devon and the octopus-based stir fry.
Ziggy Austin with the seven foot octopus at Hopes Nose near Torquay, Devon and the octopus-based stir fry. | Ziggy Austin / SWNS
Ziggy Austin, who won the Torquay edition of Come Dine with Me in 2014, couldn’t resist the chance to cook up something exotic when he found a huge octopus on a beach near his home.

A dad found a “massive” octopus on a UK beach - and ate it at home in a stir fry for tea. Ziggy Austin, 40, was shocked to spot the eight-legged creature while fishing with his young daughter Lauren on April 17.

The enormous cephalopod measured nearly 7ft and it was so large when he first saw it he thought it was a fishing net. Sadly, the octopus was dead when Ziggy found it at Hopes Nose near Torquay in Devon.

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Ziggy says he believes the entire bulbous head of the octopus had been bitten off by a seal - leaving the rest of the body intact. Determined to make the most out of the creature, he has since put it on ice and is slowly eating it bit by bit.

He has already enjoyed some by marinating it in teriyaki sauce and serving with stir fried vegetables. Ziggy said: "I was out fishing with my daughter and I spotted what looked like an abandoned fisherman’s net.

"Then it started sort of moving a bit, so I climbed down to the water’s edge to take a look. That’s when a wave came in and rolled it over - and then I saw the suckers.

"It’s absolutely not normal to see an octopus that size. I’ve been a man of the sea all my life, and I’ve never seen anything like it. It was larger than my daughter.

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"I knew straight away that I had to try and get hold of it, so I used the end of my fishing rod to sort of reach into the water and tangle it around the octopus to pull it out. When we got the behemoth up onto the rock we stretched it out we could see that a seal had bitten the head clean off the top.

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"I’m not sure how big an octopus’ head is compared to the rest of its body, but it must have been massive with the head on too. It just had its eyes left." Ziggy, who runs Rock Solid Coasteering from his home in Maidencombe, posted a video of the creature on his YouTube channel.

Ziggy Austin with the seven foot octopus at Hopes Nose near Torquay, Devon and the octopus-based stir fry. Ziggy Austin with the seven foot octopus at Hopes Nose near Torquay, Devon and the octopus-based stir fry.
Ziggy Austin with the seven foot octopus at Hopes Nose near Torquay, Devon and the octopus-based stir fry. | Ziggy Austin / SWNS

The sea life lover and scientist filmed himself dissecting the creature showing what its beak and other features looked like. Ziggy won the Torquay edition of Come Dine With Me in 2014, so has already tested out his skills at cooking the octopus.

Lauren Austin with the seven foot octopus at Hopes Nose near Torquay, Devon. Lauren Austin with the seven foot octopus at Hopes Nose near Torquay, Devon.
Lauren Austin with the seven foot octopus at Hopes Nose near Torquay, Devon. | Ziggy Austin / SWNS

He added: "I had some of it last night, it was delicious. After I caught it loads of people around Hopes Nose were giving me advice on how to cook it. On the advice of one gentleman, I simmered it for 45 minutes and then marinated it in teriyaki sauce and served with stir fried veg.

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"The rest of it is on ice, I’m hoping to make the most out of it. I could never kill such an amazing creature - but it shouldn’t be wasted. I’ve had friends messaging me asking for pieces, so I’ve given away a leg or two."

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