I love octopus! And I have had the good luck to dive with them around the world from the Giant Pacific Octopus in Puget Sound to the miniature Blue Ringed Octopus in the South Pacific. It’s considered one of the world’s most venomous marine animals. I have never stopped being astounded by the intelligence, grace, mobility and beauty of the octopus. Come along and celebrate World Octopus Day on Oct.8th, but save some fun for World Cephalolod Week.
They are spectacular animals, all 300 species. Maybe, this is why, there are so many you-tube videos of octopus, people just can’t get enough of their antics. Today, I am going to bring a few of those videos to you, focusing on octopus around the world and even one video on the Lost Sport of Octopus Wrestling. (photo – animal guide)
Update: World Octopus Day and World Cephalopod Week
There’s a lot to celebrate about these amazing creatures, not the least is that octopus fossils date back over 300 million years. That’s older than the dinosaurs. Maybe they have survived so long because they are so highly intelligent, with around 500 million neurons located in their brains and arms. Maybe this is why, Frank Grasso, a professor of neurology, once said, they are the closest things to alien intelligence on Earth.
Octopus come in all shapes, colors and sizes. Some live in very shallow waters while the Giant Pacific Octopus is known to live in depths down to 2000 mt.s (6.600 ft). In 2016 NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer captured video of a “ghostly” octopod at a depth of 14,000 feet (that’s 2.6 miles or 4,290 meters) below the surface of the North Pacific, That alone makes me want to celebrate World Octopus Day.
Not to be outdone by World Octopus Day, the rest of the Cephalopod family including squid and cuttlefish are joining in the fun and games of World Cephalopod Week. Where you’ll find out more than you ever wanted to know, so join in and let’s get kraken!!
The Great Pacific Octopus
This is the largest of all octopus species weighing in at a record 71 kilos (156lb) and probably the origin of the myth of the man-eating giant octopus. The Giant Pacific Octopus shares many similarities with its cephalopod smaller cousins, it has eight arms (although there is a seven armed octopus (Haliphron atlanticus)
Octopus are bilateral symmetrical, with a shell and mantle, a head and arms (tentacles) that are covered with two rows of suckers, lined with papillae or hooks for grabbing onto and not letting go of prey. the arms when spread apart can form a parachute-like structure to envelope and help capture prey. Where the arms join together there is a mouth with a strong beak capable of cracking crab shells.
Changing Color, Squirting Ink, Running on Two Arms, Sticky Suckers!
All these features make the octopus truly unique. Their mantle can instantly change color helping the octopus to blend into its surroundings. Water drawn into the octopus can quickly be ejected via a siphon propelling the octopus short distances. The siphon can also be used to expel a cloud of ink that can hide the octopus and confuse its enemies.
For propulsion the octopus normally uses their arms to crawl slowly along the surface of the sea bed. However as our videos show they can also be extremely quick, sprinting up to 40 kilometers an hour for short distances. Sometimes while grasping prey you will see them move on only two or three of their eight arms.
Did I Say Octopus Are Intelligent!
Some experts consider the octopus to be the world’s most intelligent animal. That’s right more intelligent than cats, or dolphins, or Fido. They use tools and because they don’t have a hard skeleton, like Houdini they are escape artists. They can squeeze through narrow openings and even unscrew the lid off a bottle from the inside. If you don’t believe me , its all in the videos below.
Watch this Octopus Escape,
Obviously octopus are bright because they enjoy quirky sex
If you don’t think Octopus are cute watch them hatching
Finally, what you have been waiting for: The Lost Sport of Octopus Wrestling
By Robert Frerck, Blue Ocean Network
Related Blue Ocean Articles:
How To Get More Ocean-Hearted Intel Delivered To Your Inbox!
We believe ocean lovers can change the world. If you care about the health of the ocean and want to do something about it, then connect with the Blue Ocean tribe: Our growing community of ocean change-makers is turning ocean lovers into ocean leaders. It starts with you. Join us!