The octopus is far more intelligent than what we have previously thought. They are fascinating, just like most other creatures, and we can learn much from them. Take this particular octopus in Egypt—its behavior defies explanation. This is one of the most bizarre encounters you will see.
One family on vacation in Soma Bay, a coastal resort in Egypt on the Red Sea, were walking along the beach when they came across an octopus that was stranded. The poor creature had become lodged in the sand, and unless it was freed and could reach the ocean, it would dry out, become dehydrated and perish.
The family then pushed it back into the water, and it swam away. The following day, as they were enjoying a stroll along the same beach, a shadow emerged from the ocean and swam directly at them—it was the same octopus they rescued earlier!
The octopus tagged along with them, and as they paddled in the shallows, it reached out constantly to gently make contact with them. This continued for quite some time. Obviously the creature recognized them as the ones who had saved it, and it was communicating its thanks to them. The family captured the entire event on video.
Often, we help animals out of instinct when they are suffering, not expecting anything in return. That is what makes this happening so special, as usually an octopus is something we usually relegate to the dinner table, dressed up in breadcrumbs and fried, or perhaps in a calamari salad. Either way, it gives rise to the fact that all creatures have intelligence and need to be treated with respect. Being kind and compassionate to all creatures, not just our fellow man, is something worth remembering. Remember that animals have feelings too.
In another incident with octopuses off the east coast of Australia, the tentacled creatures were filmed constructing their own underwater city. Scientists discovered the Octo-community near Jervis Bay, on the south coast of the state of New South Wales, about 10 to 15 meters under the water’s surface.
One of the researchers, Stephanie Chancellor of the University of Illinois, described the octopuses as “true environmental engineers.” The site is around 60 feet long and 13 feet wide, and there are about 15 octopuses living there; scientists have dubbed it “octlantis.”
“In addition to the rock outcroppings, octopuses who had been inhabiting the area had built up piles of shells leftover from creatures they ate, most notably clams and scallops. These shell piles, or middens, were further sculpted to create dens, making these octopuses true environmental engineers,” she said in a statement.
“Animals were often pretty close to each other, often within arm’s reach,” Chancellor said. This is the second community of octopuses discovered in the area, the first one called “Octopolis, was seen to have several octopus homes. Neighborly disputes do occur, however, “Some of the octopuses were seen evicting other animals from their dens,” Chancellor said. An example of an octopus eviction is shown in the video below.
“There were some apparent threat displays where an animal would stretch itself out lengthwise in an ‘upright’ posture and its mantle would darken. Often another animal observing this behavior would quickly swim away,” she added.
More research is needed to help understand why this behavior happens. “We still don’t know what the benefits are of this kind of behavior, which is linked closely to living in densely populated settlements, compared to the life of a solitary octopus,” she said. Below is footage of octopuses fighting in Octopolis, the first octopus settlement discovered in Jervis Bay.
The research was published in the journal Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology.