The octopus is one of the strangest creatures known to currently exist. Because they often don’t live for very long, very little is known about these bizarre sea creatures. Below, we present seven of the strangest and little-known facts about this creature.
Number Seven: Their Skin Can See. Well, kind of. The creature has pigment pockets underneath its skin that are surrounded by round muscles that contract, depending on the octopus’ surroundings. These pigment pockets contain some of the same structures seen in human eyes and allow their skin to “see” color. Because of this, the octopus is able to camouflage itself with ease.
Number Six: Their Suction Cups Are Insanely Strong. The octopus has up to 240 suction cups on each of its eight arms, and a single suction cup is capable of holding 35 pounds. Judging from this, the combined gripping force of all of the creatures’ suction cups is up to 30,000 pounds. However, it is important to note that an octopus never uses all of its suction cups at once.
Number Five: They Were the First Invertebrates to Use Tools. The oldest octo fossil found was dated back to 296 million years ago! There is even documented evidence that octopuses could use broken coconut shells as weapons and tools, making them the first invertebrates ever to do so.
Number Four: Octopus Learn Very Quickly
As opposed to most animals that learn from experience, the octopus can learn from both experience and observations. They are also able to play with toys and have been documented opening up baby-proof jars.
Number Three: Their Blood Is Blue. In order to cope with colder water, the octopus’ blood is copper-based, rather than iron-based like warm-blooded mammals. This improves their circulation, but it also turns their blood a strange shade of blue.
Number Two: They Have Three Hearts. Talk about a big heart! The octopus has a whopping three hearts. Two are for its gills, and one is for its body. While some people might think this makes the octo more prone to long-lasting relationships with each other, a sad truth is that most octopuses die shortly after mating.
Number One: They Can Eat Themselves. Finally, one of the strangest facts about the octopus is that it can and will chew its own arm off. Autophagy, as it is known, occurs when an octopus’ limb becomes infected. Rather than let the limb infect its entire body, the octo chews it off to protect itself.