AN AQUARIUM has welcomed a new giant octopus.

The arrival of the Giant Pacific Octopus at Blue Reef Aquarium in Hastings has coincided with a spike in public interest in all things octopus following the release of Netflix documentary My Octopus Teacher.

The new octopus at the Rock-a-Nore Road site follows the passing of the previous resident octopus, Baxter.

The Giant Pacific Octopus, otherwise known as Enteroctopus dofleini, is the largest and longest living species of octopus in the world.

The animals, which are found in the North Pacific Ocean, can grow to 29.5 feet (nine metres) wide and can change colour in one-tenth of a second.

The Argus: Hastings Aquarium has welcomed the arrival of a new giant octopusHastings Aquarium has welcomed the arrival of a new giant octopus

Aquarium marketing manager Freddie Mills said the Netflix film has created a buzz around octopuses, with MPs even calling to include the species on an animal sentience bill.

Released in 2020, the documentary follows a year spent by film-maker Craig Foster forging a relationship with a wild common octopus in a South African kelp forest.

“Following the sad passing of Baxter, who was one of the most popular animals here at the aquarium, we have had many visitors and members share with us their fond memories of time spent watching him,” he said.

“We are really excited to introduce this remarkable new octopus as they are such fascinating and emotional creatures.

“The new octopus is already engaging with people, swimming right up to the window to say hello.”

The aquarium is getting the local community involved with the naming of the octopus with a competition running on their social media channels.

To get involved in naming the octopus, look up Hastings Aquarium on Instagram and Facebook.

For more information about the aquarium and to buy tickets to see the new octopus, visit the aquarium website.