WASHINGTON MO - A US citizen told how he caught and ate an octopus on holiday - only to discover it was the second rare six-legged specimen ever found.

Mechanical engineer Labros Hydras, 49, pulled the creature - dubbed a ‘hexapus’ - from the sea as he went snorkelling in Greece.

He and his son followed local tradition by smashing it against a rock to kill it and then took it to a nearby taverna to cook.

But the father-of-two, who was born in Greece and now lives in Washington D.C., fried it for his supper anyway and served it up with a slice of tomato and lemon.

After finishing it off he decided to check out what the chef had said - and felt sick when he realised what he had done.

No-one had ever heard of a six-legged hexapus until five years ago when one nicknamed Henry was found near North Wales, Britain. That first-ever recorded discovery was taken to Blackpool Sea Life Centre, England. Labros, 49, is now trying to find out more about the marine mutant. He is also helping sealife experts in Greece with what he can remember of the catch on Papa Nero beach on Pelion peninsula.