December 22, 2005

Amazing video of octopus attacking a shark

Categories: Random cool stuff

Giant octopus

I volunteered at the Seattle Aquarium for a short stint when I first moved to Seattle (I used to dive a lot and almost became a marine biologist instead of a computer dude.) During orientation, I heard an amazing story about how the staff were finding dead sharks in the big tank. Their tails had been torn off and their guts sucked out, leaving only the skin.

Turns out the octopuses in the tank were snaring the sharks as the the sharks swam past. Well, now, someone has caught this action on video. It's absolutely amazing and more than a little scary, especially as someone who has done night dives with octopi. Check it out.

Those octopuses are super smart. The Seattle Aquarium staff also told a story about how the octopuses adapted to having divers in the tank doing feedings. The octopuses realized that the divers were handing out food every day and wanted to get closer to the action. They quickly figured out the easiest way was to slide up the glass, slide along the surface of the water and find the air hose the diver was using, and then slide down the airhose to the diver. Apparently, the first time this happened, the visitors were watching an octopus come down the airhose toward the oblivious diver. They gestured wildly to the diver, who thought the visitors were waving at him. He smiled and waved back. All of a sudden, the octopus, now on the diver's back, reached around the diver on both sides and started grabbing at the food he was handing out. Obviously, the diver freaked out and shot for the surface. That would definitely make me hang up my dive fins.

I think it's time to declare a truce with the octopuses: we won't eat you if you don't eat us.

Thanks to TEDBlog for the link.

Posted by Tony at December 22, 2005 8:22 AM | TrackBack


I've seen this video before, and it certainly made me a little more cautious about what lurks on the bottom. I can't tell how big those sharks are, but it does look to me as if that octopus could probably manage a scuba diver with little effort.

i will be very carful of what i stand on in the water

Ugg did they save the shark, no. I know they really can't but what the hell. Yeah its cool but I also like sharks...alive

I think you are crazy for doing such a thing as to hold a giant octpus but at the same time that is cool as hell.
Mr. Diver Dude

yo yo yo thats just crazy holding this giant octopus

lalalala send these pics to my e-mail!!

Wow, that was amazing! Yet, kinda freaky. im scared to go back in the ocean again! I'm definatley more cautious about what lives in the ocean, and how we can't really take over, or we'll be that shark!

Actually the giant octopus is a very docile creature and extremely inteligent.

In Puget Sound I have held them for a fifteen minutes stroking them and when I swam off he followed me.

ha ha ha. oh man. maybe we should just leave the ocean creatures alone! then they will leave us alone! jeez we dont want to be held by them, so we shouldnt hold them.

wow. get a life and stop holding sea creatures

omg you are crazy, i am sending this too all of my friends, maybe they will get a second opinion about these creatures

excelent!! i wanna hold this giant octopus

wow this was a cool video. i want to swim with octupus still tho cuz i dont think they will do anything.

I have Heard that the Giant Octopi in Puget Sound, depending on individual personality, love to play with divers. Some say that the cephlopods in question are facinated by the four limbed creatures that come to visit them. they certainly will play with air hoses and valves.

i dont believe it

Hey! where's the video?

Wow and OH MAN!!!
i cant watch that awesome clip .... cause of this real player..

Why don't you show us the video??

Sorry, it looks like PBS took the video down. I'll link to it again if I find it.

I'm sorry I have a really bad grammar OCD thing going on and I have to point that the plural of octopus is octopi not octopuses.

hey cool picture BUT how do you get the VIDEO to WORK!!!!!!!

wow! this is amazing.............................................................. take me diving wit you:)

i pooalot!

not, crazy ppl!

@Rob: Actually, "octopuses" is the preferred plural. "Octopi" is apparently accepted but originates from an error.

i lovvvvvve octopus

Octopi are cute! Hurray for the octopi!

octopus very danger

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