• Outdoors Outdoors

Boater turns unexpected discovery during trash cleanup into adorable rescue: 'The cutest little hitchhiker'

"Do you think this is the SpongeBob origin story?"

"Do you think this is the SpongeBob origin story?"

Photo Credit: TikTok

One TikTok content creator recently made an extremely tiny friend while out on a boat expedition and turned the experience into an adorable one-minute-long rescue video

"While we were picking up trash out of the ocean we noticed the cutest little hitchhiker: this tiny, baby octopus," mermaid.kayleigh (@mermaid.kayleigh) narrates to their 2.2 million TikTok followers.

@mermaid.kayleigh Do you think this is the SpongeBob origin story? In all seriousness, plastic in the ocean is so detrimental to marine life. This piece of plastic can break down into smaller pieces to be ingested by fish. This piece in particular looks like it may have some bite marks in it. We never like to leave a little hitchhiker without a new home so it was quickly put on something natural- the top of a pineapple. 🐙🍍 @KaimanaOceanSafari #babyoctopus #octopus #ocean #singleuseplastic #cleanuptheocean ♬ Storytelling - Adriel

Kayleigh and their friends scooped the octopus off the piece of plastic trash it had been hitching a ride on, transferred it onto a pineapple frond, and gently let it loose back into the ocean. "Do you think this is the SpongeBob origin story?" they wondered in the caption, referring to SpongeBob Squarepants' famous pineapple home under the sea.

Although the tiny octopus and its rescue were both adorable, the piece of plastic it had been floating on was not. Plastic waste is a massive threat to marine life. Around 70% of marine animals now have microplastics in their fat and lungs, according to a study from Duke University.

Massive numbers of marine animals die every year from ingesting plastic that looks like food but ends up blocking their digestive systems or from getting tangled in plastic waste.

Unfortunately, more plastic waste than ever finds its way into our oceans each year. To curb this crisis, it is vital that we reduce our use of the single-use plastics we have become so accustomed to in food packaging, disposable water bottles, and other items in our daily lives.

The viewers of Kayleigh's octopus rescue video found the whole thing delightful.

"Omg his little baby tentacles moving around," wrote one commenter.

"I try to keep a few pieces of driftwood in the boat when I head out. Dropping [animals] in new homes when I take out trash homes. Love that others do the same!" wrote another commenter.

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