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Close-up of an octopus in the sea. Alexander Rieber / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Leslie Crawford

Remember back when we were all tubes?

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Gloomy octopuses have expanded down the East Coast of Australia in recent years. Here, one recovers from tissue sampling, aimed to uncover the mysteries of their move. Colin Silvey

By Amy McDermott

Gloomy octopuses used to blend in. They were just another cephalopod, drab-gray and medium-bodied, living in the ocean off east-central Australia. Until, a few decades ago, the octopuses started to spread.

They crept south, establishing populations down Australia's East Coast, a climate change hotspot where seawater temperatures are rising almost four times faster than the global average. Gloomies love the heat—and chowing down on shellfish. If the newcomers' appetites disrupt existing fisheries, researchers say, they could spell trouble.

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