Of all the slippery and strange sea creatures out there, the octopus is perhaps the shiftiest. According to NBC News, the clever mimic octopus is a “Master of Disguise” that is known for its mighty shape-shifting abilities that allow it to take the form of just about anything. Watching it transform from its true octopus form into a stunning sea serpent is pretty enthralling.
When octopuses aren’t busy shape-shifting and color-changing, they are finding fame in their death-defying escape abilities. The most legendary octopus escape artist to date is probably Inky, who broke free from a New Zealand aquarium by shimmying 50 meters down a drainpipe (via The Guardian). In an even crazier but lesser-known event, a blue-ringed octopus from Santa Monica, California, made its escape attempt by swiftly disassembling a valve and flooding the entire aquarium where it was being held captive (via PETA).
The latest headlines show yet another octopus escape artist, but there’s a twist: this one doesn’t color-change, shape-shift, or disassemble. Instead, this octopus chooses to squeeze its unthinkably large body into an itty-bitty hole.
A ridiculously large octopus squeezed through a tiny hole
In a now-viral video, nature-loving YouTube channel The Dodo released footage of an enormous octopus escaping a boat it appears to have accidentally climbed aboard. Rather than disguising itself as a snake or seeking out the nearest drainpipe, this resourceful cephalopod does something equally — perhaps even more — incredible.
The octopus manages to squeeze its entire body through a hole about the size of a soda can. Watching the process unfold is a thing of beauty and fright. Each tentacle-clad arm is thrust through the opening one at a time, and the octopus becomes so exasperated that its bright orange body turns white. Still, determination — along with a boneless, bladderless, and collapsible body — goes a long way (via HuffPost).
Incredibly, the octopus eventually emerges on the other side of the hole, its sticky white tentacles suctioning the side of the boat. While it might seem like an otherworldly feat, nature fans should not be too surprised — the National Geographic YouTube channel reports that a 600-pound octopus can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter with no sweat.
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