Octopuses are really incredible. As sea-dwelling invertebrates, you’d think that they’d be different from us in every single way. In some ways they are very different, but you’ll be surprised to learn these 10 amazing facts about these eight-armed creatures.
1. They’re super smart.
Octopuses can solve puzzles, recognize human faces, open childproof medicine bottles, navigate mazes, and when they get bored, they keep themselves busy by inventing simple games!
2. They’re basically squishy Houdinis.
They have the ability to escape from almost anywhere. They can squeeze through holes, undo locks and latches, and untie knots.
3. They’re pro fort builders.
They need a new home every day, and find shells, discarded bottles, or anything else they come across. As long as it’s just slightly bigger than they are, they’ll make it their home. Then they wait to attack their prey.
4. They keep their temporary homes very tidy.
Scientists have learned to spot octopus homes by piles of debris right outside the entrance from all the cleaning they do. Females also lay their eggs in a similar fashion to the way we hang twinkle lights – very stylish.
5. They can walk and run…
Even on dry land. Just ask researchers, who have to chase these guys all over the lab like skittish cats.
6. They’ll disappear right before your eyes.
In 0.3 seconds, to be exact. They can change their color, texture, and shape to match their surroundings. As if that camouflage wasn’t enough, they’ll cast a pseudomorph, which is basically like a smoke bomb consisting of ink and mucus that irritates and distracts predators to allow for a stealthy escape.
7. They can do impressions, too.
8. They may look pretty, but they can take on sharks.
Not only that, but they’ll rip the lethal stingers of a Portuguese man-of-war clean off, using them as their own weapon. That is some next level stuff. Smart but also entirely terrifying.
9. They don’t need utensils.
They’ve got a sharp beak and a toothed ribbon called a radula, so when their strong arms aren’t enough to open a clam, they drill a hole in its shell, stun it with poison, and the clam opens right up. Dinner’s served!
10. They can have sex with their mate from the house next door.
Yep, the male’s sex organ is located at the end of one of his arms, so he doesn’t have to leave the house to procreate if he doesn’t want to…and if the young lady lives nearby.