Adrian, born premature on Aarhus University Hospital, with his octopus (photo: Private).

Inside neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) incubators at one United Kingdom hospital, premature babies have an unlikely companion -colorful, crocheted octopi.

These cuddly toys are used as a form of therapy to help comfort and calm premature babies, according to officials at Poole Hospital.

According to the organization Spruttegruppen - the Danish Octo Project - the idea for the toy started when a father requested a crocheted octopus for his daughter at Aarhus University Hospital.

Since 2013, the organization has distributed the octopi to neonatal units in Denmark, and has received inquiries from other countries around the world.