Top 10 Coolest Facts About OctopusesOctopuses are some of the most incredible and interesting sea creatures on the planet. Few people know things about these fascinating animals past the fact that they have eight tentacles and that they squirt ink, but these aren't nearly the coolest things about the animals. So, read on, and learn about the top 10 coolest facts about octopuses!
If you observe an octopus going about its daily life, one of the most interesting things that you will remark is how dexterous and flexible its eight arms are, especially the way that they can all move individually. The reasoning behind this is because each arm has a brain, which, in addition to the main and central brain located in the head, adds up to a total of a whopping nine brains. The first brain controls most of the functions of the main body, like food, while the other eight brains, each located in a different arm, allow the arm that they are located in to move around independently, which is why all the arms can do so many different things at once. The first brain will direct the other eight brains by giving one of them a simple command, and then the other brain will direct all of the complicated movements involved in doing the task. It's quite an incredible and useful system.
One surprisingly unknown thing about octopuses that is truly fascinating is that, much like chameleons and some frogs, Octopuses can change the pigmentation of their skin to any color they like. The science behind this involves a key type of organelles called chromatophores. Underneath the skin of an octopus, there are tons of this cell-sized organ that can do an interesting contracting process that controls how much light is let out to the skin, completely changing the hue. As there are so many of these chromatophores, octopuses can change different ones to different colors, allowing for extremely realistic camouflage. Another great thing about this process is that it allows octopuses are be extremely quick with changing color, as they can do so in a tenth of a second, while other animals like chameleons can take over a minute to fully change.
The octopus has one of the most fascinating and incredible circulatory systems of any animal on the planet. The most notable thing about this interesting system is the fact that there are not one, not two, but three hearts! This may seem extremely strange, as just about every other animal on the planet has only one heart, but three hearts are necessary for the octopuses to stay alive. One heart controls the circulatory system and pumps blood all around the body, but the other two are there to pump blood up to the gills, in order to gather more oxygen. The reason that not all of this can be done by the first heart is largely due to how complex the body structure of the octopus is, limiting how much of the body the first heart can cover. Not to mention the fact that the animals need a lot of blood around their gills, which is why each set of gills have their own heart as a blood supply.
Squidward seems to have three hearts lol... one for hating SpongeBob, one for loving clarinet music and one for his weird secret obsession with Boys who Cry.
Yes, you read it right, octopuses have beaks, much like what you would see on a bird. Obviously, when looking at an octopus, you can't see a beak, and this is because the beak isn't on the very surface. The beak, which looks like the beak of a macaw when taken out, is stuck inside strong muscle tissue, unlike birds, which have their beaks on the surface. Much of an octopus' prey has a hard shell, and it's thanks to this powerful beak, and its tongue, which is shaped like a drill, that the octopus can actually break through the shell of its prey and eat it.
Octopuses are already masters of camouflage due to their incredible color-changing system, but they take their hiding skills to the next level with an extremely unique and impressive way of also changing the texture of their skin. You may be familiar with a type of skin called papillae, which are the bumps on your tongue that contain taste buds and help grip food, but octopuses don't just have this on their tongues, they have papillae all over their body, which can arrange muscle fibers there in different patterns, and as a result can completely change their skin texture from flat to bumpy to spiky. Only one other creature on the planet, the cuttlefish, shares this extraordinary method.
We all know that octopuses have eight arms, or limbs, because two of the eight limbs actually serve as legs, while the other six are arms, but what many people don't know is that these arms, like the tails of lizards you might hear about, will simply grow back if they are injured. The limb will grow back in around 100 days and, unlike most other animals with regenerative limbs, the newly grown appendage will work just as well as the old one did. Octopus limbs being regenerative is extremely important for the creature, as it requires all 8 limbs to be fully functional in order to do things like swimming and catching prey adequately, which is definitely why the creature has evolved to have regenerative limbs.
One peculiar thing about octopuses is the fact that their pupils, which are the black parts in the center of your eye, are rectangular instead of circular, and it's quite practical for the animal. The rectangular shape and positioning of the pupils allows an octopus to see in virtually all directions, which is extremely useful in the ocean's unpredictable environment. In addition to this neat way of seeing things, the rectangular shape is very practical for controlling how much light can go into their eye. Octopuses are actually not the only animals on the planet with rectangular pupils, with the couple other exceptions being toads, goats, and sheep, all of which have evolved to have this special feature as a way to survive in their environment.
Upon thinking of an octopus, the first thing that comes to mind is definitely not a fast swimmer. The eight legs and wonky head definitely don't seem ideal for swimming conditions, but octopuses are a lot faster than we give them credit for. Octopuses, using an interesting swimming method of splaying out their eight legs to make a parachute shape, then pushing them back into a straight shape and getting propelled backward, can swim at 40 kilometers an hour, and occasionally even faster. To put it into perspective, most humans can't even swim at over 2 kilometers an hour. The fastest speed ever recorded was 9.66 km/h by Michael Phelps, and that's still not even a quarter of the speed that these incredible swimmers can go at.
This is because octopuses have a brain in each arm.
One thing that octopuses have grown to be very famous for is how dedicated the mothers are. Throughout the entire period from when the eggs have been laid to when they hatch, the mother will be watching and protecting the eggs, not even leaving them for a second to eat or sleep, which is why most octopus mothers end up dying from lack of food. But the truly impressive thing about the hatching process is not the dedication of the mother, it's the sheer quantity of eggs involved. In many cases, octopuses have been recorded to lay over 200 thousand eggs at once, a shocking number for such a large animal. Often, only a few of the eggs will survive, occasionally only one or two or even zero, but there have been times when thousands of octopus babies have been recorded hatching at once.
When you think of blood, the color red will likely come to mind. Nearly all mammals, reptiles, fish, birds, and amphibians have red-colored blood, which is why it was quite intriguing to scientists when they discovered that octopuses did not have red blood, but a dark shade of blue instead. It's quite simple why octopuses, and a few other blue-blooded animals like squid, shrimp, snails, crabs and most spiders, have blue blood instead of the typical red blood. Instead of the iron inside the protein that carries the oxygen around our bodies, octopuses have copper, which creates a drastically different color. This would also mean that octopus blood has a completely different taste than human blood, because you'd be tasting copper instead of iron.
But can they though. Do they know how they work? Probably not.