The ocean hides many wonders beneath the waves, and divers captured an amazing scene in the French Mediterranean:
They spotted this octopus spread out on the sea bed and moved in for a closer look. It glides away slowly for a moment before darting away through the beautiful blue waters of the Mediterranean.
Octopuses – or Octopodes, depending on who you ask – are eight-legged mollusks that inhabit almost every ocean habitat, including abyssal depths. They are often mixed up with squid, but the two are actually very different animals. Here are a few fascinating facts about these ocean-dwelling creatures:
1. Octopuses have three hearts! Two are for moving blood through the gills, and the third focuses on the other organs. This organ-pumping heart actually stops beating when they swim!
2. Octopuses’ brains are spread throughout their body. Their arms can function autonomously to open tricky objects and even still react to stimuli when they’ve been cut off! This has another effect: they’re incredibly smart. In tests they have been known to screw off lids to get to food, escape their tanks and move through dry rooms to other tanks, and perform other highly-intelligent tasks.
3. Their blood is blue! Unlike human blood which is iron-based, octopus blood is based on copper.
4. The oldest octopus fossil ever found was 296 million years old! If a species remains largely unchanged across millennia, that usually means they are very well adapted to their environment.
5. The ink Octopodes eject when threatened is like a naturally occurring pepper spray that confuses a predator’s sense of taste and smell.
6. Some octopuses can change their skin color to match their surroundings just like chameleons.
Do you have any fun facts about octopuses to share? Let us know in the comments!