11 Reasons Why Octopuses Are The Coolest Animals Ever

Posted Aug 11, by Jose Duarte [+]

A mimic Octopus can change into more than 15 different shapes!

This little guy is always ready for a costume party. The mimic octopus lives in the tropical sea of Southeast Asia and was not discovered officially until 1988- probably because it was too busy looking like a string ray, or a flounder, or a jellyfish, or any of the other 15 creatures it can shape-shift into.

The most other octopuses can is blend into the sea floor to appear as rocks The mimic octopus grows up to 2 feet in length and its normal coloring consists of brown and white stripes or spots. Based on observations, the mimic octopus may decide which animal to transform into based on local predators.

For example, when the octopus saw a damselfish in the distance, it was observed to appear as a banded sea snake; a damselfish’s predator. It did this by turning black and yellow, burying six of its arms, and waving its other two arms in opposite directions. If you dress up as this guy during Halloween, you could probably go to the same house 15 times.

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There's an octopus that can kill you in one bite - there is no anti-venom.

It's called the blue-ringed octopus, and it lives in tide pools and coral reefs in the Pacific and Indian Oceans as well as around Japan and Australia. It is recognized as one of the world’s most venomous marine animals. 

Though it is generally docile, and hunts only small crabs, hermit crabs, and shrimp, it may bite attackers if provoked. It carries enough venom to kill 26 people within minutes, and still no anti-venom exists. The venom contains tetrodotoxin, which is 10,000 times more toxic than cyanide.

Tetrodotoxin blocks sodium channels, causing motor paralysis and respiratory arrest. First aid treatment exists, however. Put simply, it is placing pressure on the wound and utilizing artificial respiration. A bag valve mask or medical ventilator can be sufficient to keep the victim alive until the venom is neutralized by the body. People who can live through the first 24 hours generally recover completely. 

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An octopus figured out how to short circuit a light in its aquarium.

Otto the octopus is an octopus at the Sea Star Aquarium in Coburg, Germany. In 2008, Otto had been annoyed by a bright light in his aquarium and had managed to extinguish it by climbing onto the rim of his tank and squirting a jet of water at it. 

At first, it baffled electricians and staff because they couldn’t figure it out. They had to take shifts sleeping on the floor to find out what the cause was. The major problem was that it shorted electricity to the entire aquarium, threatening the lives of other animals. 

On night three of the rotating sleeping shifts, Otto was discovered to be the culprit. Otto had been shorting the lights at that particular time because he was bored due to the aquarium being closed for the winter. 

To Otto’s dismay, the light was moved higher up so he couldn’t reach it. Still, Otto is constantly craving attention and always pulling stunts like this one, so something else is always bound to happen. He’s been reported juggling hermit crabs in his tank, throwing stones against the glass, and even rearranging the items in his tank every now and then. 

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The Argonaut is a type of octopus that has a detachable penis!

This type of octopus has very pronounced sexual dimorphism. This means that the male and the female of the species look very different. Think, for example, how male and female peacocks look very different. In the Argonaut's case, the male rarely grows to be larger than 2cm, while the female can be 5 times larger at 10cm. In fact, the dimorphism is so pronounced, that the female Argonauts were known since ancient times, while males were only described in the late 19th century.

Perhaps a more curious fact about this animal is that the males have a special arm called the hectocotylus, which they use to transfer sperm to the female. What they do is that the male's arm is inserted into the female, and then it's detached from the male!

The female literally cuts off the penis of the male when they mate. Until the males were discovered in the species, people thought that the hectocotylus was a parasitic worm!

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An octopus's testicles are in its head!

Behind the octopus’ head and directly opposite his arms lies its mantle. The mantle houses all of the octopus’ organs, including the reproductive organs. The mantle consists of a strong muscle structure that protects the organs.

An octopus can also change into a multitude of different colors and textures for camouflage. Take that chameleons!

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Squidward from Spongebob Squarepants is an octopus, not a squid.

Yes, his name is rather counterintuitive, but the show’s creator, Stephen Hillenburg, asserts that Spongebob’s cranky neighbor is definitely an octopus (someone really ought to straighten this out with his voice actor though...) Another fact that settles this debate is that Squidward possesses an octopus’s rounded head, not the distinctive pointy mantle of a squid.

As for his misleading name, honestly...would “Octoward” Tentacles have a better ring to it?? Although, if you really think about it, we should technically be calling Squidward a ‘hexapus’ since he only has six legs and not the usual eight! Hillenburg said this choice was made to keep the character from appearing too bulky and burdened.


Some Octopuses use Coconuts as Instant Shelters.

Around 2009, octopuses were discovered suctioning coconut-shell halves to their under-sides, and then reassembling them to disappear inside. This is both a predator and prey technique as it can be used for deception or self-protection. Scientists were baffled by this unprecedented and quite frankly hilarious phenomenon. 

It makes the veined octopus the first member of the tool-making animal club without a spine. Although an octopus without shells can flee much faster, it has nowhere to flee to. Thus, the shell provides more protection. 

After the octopus is done using the coconut shells, it arranges them neatly below the centers of its body and walk around them- to quote researchers- “awkwardly.” It should also be noted, that awkwardness is also a behaviour never before seen in octopuses. 

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Octopuses have three hearts.

An octopus has one main heart called the systemic heart and two smaller ones that are located near the its gills. These two smaller hearts function much like the right side of the human heart. They pump oxygen-depleted blood to the gills, where it exchanges carbon dioxide for oxygen, and then pump this refreshed blood to the systemic heart.

The systemic heart then propels this new oxygenated blood throughout the octopus\'s body, just like the left side of the human heart! The major difference between a human and an octopus\'s circulatory systems (other than the number of hearts) is that unlike the red blood of men and women, octopuses have blood that is blue! That is because their blood contains a copper-rich protein called hemocyanin instead of the reddish hemoglobin found in humans!
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An octopus can fit inside a beer bottle.

The reason this is possible is because most octopuses have only one hard part in their body - the beak, located on the underside of its head. This allows them to contort their bodies and fit into tight spaces!

I'm not a fan of littering, but this is pretty cool:


The Giant Pacific Octopus can kill a shark by breaking the shark's spine with its tentacles.

One aquarium shot this footage to try to get to the bottom of the mysterious deaths of its dogfish sharks. This is really cool - check it out below! You can skip to about 1:40 for the carnage, since we already ruined what was supposed to be a surprise ending.


A dish in South Korea is made of LIVE baby octopuses that are still moving.

This bizarre meal, called sannakji, consists of raw pieces of young octopus that are served immediately after chopping it up! This means that the tentacles must be chewed VERY thoroughly, in order to prevent the suction cups from sticking to the diner's esophagus, or better yet...to keep the still-living octopus from crawling back up!

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