From the amount of hearts, each octopus has to what music they enjoy; our eight-limbed friends are some of the most interesting sea creatures that inhabit the oceans.
With strong roots in mythology and even stronger roots within science investigations, the modern-day octopus is a species that we have yet to fully understand.
These fascinating facts are just scratching the surface…
Octopuses can change color
Octopuses are extremely colorful. Their cells contain something called chromatophores, which are basically little balloons that they can contract producing different shades of color. They can even produce multiple colors at the same time.
Normally, they use this to hide from predators or communicate with each other. A study at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole in Massachusetts revealed that some even change colors to match the beat of a song (in this case, Cypress Hill).
Octopuses are homebodies
Don’t confuse them for shy, but don’t expect them to be the life of the party either. According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, Octopuses are solitary creatures that don’t travel in schools or associate with others outside of mating.
They’re usually hiding in caves unless they’re searching for food or something along those lines.
Octopuses are dedicated and deadly lovers
According to Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco, Octopuses only mate once in their lifetime and the females eat the males after. They do this because they stay with their eggs for as long as they can up until starvation. The males are usually distinguishable by their hectocotylus, which sits at the end of their arms and is how they’re able to mate.
Octopuses are escape artists
Fitting into basically any crevice or hole, octopuses are extremely agile. The only part of the body that is solid is their beak. Even with that, they’re able to squeeze into the smallest spaces without injury or issue.
They’re even able to get themselves out of small jars and aquariums. Aquariums have to create special enclosures sometimes with astroturf (octopuses hate the texture) to keep them contained.
Octopuses can lay up to 100,000 eggs
When mating, octopuses can lay up to 100,000 eggs. According to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, baby octopuses are only the size of a grain of rice when they hatch and after a year, only the size of a quarter.
The many dangers they face after hatching are offset by the shear number of baby octopuses.
Octopuses have massive brains
They’re able to retain short-term information, escape from enclosures and learn by mimicking each other. Octopuses are probably one of the smartest sea creatures out there. According to Scientific American, “Octopuses and their relatives (cuttlefish and squid) represent an island of mental complexity in the sea of invertebrate animals.”
One generalization is that they have nine brains, in reality, they have nodes all throughout their bodies with one centralized brain.
Giant octopuses really do exist
In the right conditions, octopuses can grow up to 30 feet and weigh 600 pounds says the National Geographic. The Giant Pacific Octopus, which is commonly found in the northwestern coast of North America, can reach those heights if plenty of food and safety is available.
The Giant Pacific Octopus can only live up to five years and most others for up to two years.
Octopus species are still being discovered
It would be impossible to number the entire octopus species in the world. So far, we’ve been able to categorize 300 different species and barely made a dent.
National Geographic reports that it’s impossible to successfully categorize the entirety of its species and habits.