Octopus. A very strange creature. No bones and eight legs. For centuries the sailors have looked down at the deep seas with fear. Fear of meeting horrible creatures. Many stories were written about giant octopuses lurking in the depths and attacking unwary sailors and plunging their ships with only the strength of their legs. What is true in this mythology? Is the octopus a fearsome animal?
Yes and no. If there were a giant octopus the size of Cracken, it is certain that at least, out of curiosity, it would have stalked and sunk at least few ships. Luckily for us, the largest octopus ever known measured 9m and weighed about 250kg. The size of this specimen was insufficient to surround ships with his legs and even less to sink them.
ABOUT THE OCTOPUS:
Octopuses inhabit all the oceans and most seas of our planet. Most are pelagic, meaning they live near the surface of the water in shells, reefs and cracks. Some species live on the ocean floor, making their homes out of caves dug in the sand by themselves. They tend to be solitary.
Octopuses inhabit all the oceans and most seas of our planet. They are carnivorous creatures that hunt at night and none of its nearly 300 species are considered endangered.
They are carnivorous creatures that hunt at night. Meals can include clams, crabs, lobsters, fish, sharks (yes, you read well, sharks) and even birds. Octopuses usually fall on their prey, wrap it in their arms and pull the animal towards its mouth where a fearsome strong peak, awaits them.
Octopuses have a short life span. Some species only live for about six months. Other species, such as the giant North Pacific Octopus, can live up to five years. No matter what, when the octopuses mate, they die soon after. None of its nearly 300 species are considered endangered, although a few are declared as “without sufficient data”.
LET’S LOOK AT SOME CURIOUS OCTOPUS FACTS:
1 – Scientists claim that octopuses are the most intelligent animal of all the invertebrates. So much that they say that if they had a longer life, they would be the dominant species in the world.
2 – They are able to use tools and even learn by looking at what other octopuses do.
3 – The earliest known octopus fossil is 296 million years old.
4 – It is considered one of the most flexible creatures of our world, being able to get practically into any hole although it may seem impossible.
5 – An octopus has 3 hearts. Two of them pump blood to its respiratory system and the other one pumps blood through its body.
6 – They have blue blood because they use hemocyanin instead of hemoglobin as an oxygen-carrying molecule.
7 – Although it is commonly said that they have 8 legs, in fact they have 6 arms and 2 legs.
8 – Technically, octopuses do not have tentacles, but legs or arms. The tentacles belong to squid, sepia and nautilus.
Octopuses have a short life span. Scientists claim that , if octopuses had a longer life, they would be the dominant species in the world. They are able to use tools and even learn by looking at what other octopuses do.
9 – Octopuses can get rid of an arm to escape their predators. After time, it grows again.
10 – The octopus sense of smell is found in the around 1,600 suction cups on each arm, which also provide the sense of touch.
11 – If an octopus is desperately hungry, it can eat its own arms. In turn, females, in very extreme hunger cases, can eat the males.
12 – The female’s arms are much longer and sharper than the male, which has them much shorter and wider.
13 – All octopuses are poisonous. Although, only one of them contains fatal poison for humans. This is the blue-ring octopus. The poison concentrates in small amounts on the suction cups to immobilize their prey. Also it is segregated from the mouth to dissolve shells or to finish the prey.
14 – Each of its arms has its own intelligence. These arms can perform tasks independently while the octopus concentrates on something else.
15 – The plurilingual standard in English of octopus is octopuses, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Like a word that comes from the Greek, it follows the Greek rules for the plurals. The word “octopi”, which follows the Latin rules for plurals, is incorrect.
16 – The smallest octopus is the Octopus Wolfi. It is smaller than 2.5 cm (an inch) long and weighs less than a gram.
17 – The largest octopus in the family is the Giant Octopus of the Pacific, reaching 5m (15ft) and weighing more than 50kg.
Octopuses are very interesting creatures. We still don’t know it all about them and certainly, the more we discover about them the more interesting they seem to us. We hope you enjoyed these curious facts. As we like to say, apart from diving, what divers like most is to talk about diving. Do not forget these facts in your next conversation!