5 facts you didn’t know about octopuses
By Rachel Horne.
Octopuses are truly amazing! Here are 5 things you might not know about these remarkable creatures.
1. They can be bigger than a bus!
The biggest giant Pacific octopus ever recorded reached a whopping 600 pounds. That’s nearly 4 times the weight of the average human being. This ridiculously big octopus was also 30 feet across, that’s longer than a London bus!
The smallest type of octopus is called an octopus wolfi. They only weigh a gram and they are pretty adorable.
2. They can walk on land!
That’s right, octopuses can use their tentacles to walk along the beach if they are trapped in a low tide or hunting for prey amongst the rock pools. After eating all the prey in one pool, they just pull themselves out of the water and go find the next place to hunt.
If you do see an octopus walking on land, make sure you give it plenty of space so that you don’t frighten it. If you think that something may be wrong; it’s best to contact The British Divers Marine Life Rescue.
Never attempt to put any marine animal back in the ocean without help or advice from the experts as it may be sick or injured.
3. They are seriously smart!
Octopuses are so clever. They can open jars (both from the inside and the outside). They also build a fortress of stones around them as they sleep to protect them from predators.
Did we mention they are masters of camouflage?! The mimic octopus purposely impersonates a deadly sea snake to scare off predators and other species even hide and protect themselves by carrying around their favourite shell or coconut.
4. It’s not octopi
Did you notice the word octopuses in the title and cringe at our spelling error? Actually, octopi is not the plural of octopus, that is a total myth! Sorry to disappoint you, we love how the world octopi rolls off the tongue too.
5. Octopuses are in trouble
They are over 300 different species of octopus (that we know of!) Just like all other marine life; they are seriously threatened by pollution, loss of habitat and over-fishing. The decline of octopuses also threatens the sharks, birds, whales, dolphins and other fish that eat them.
The marine food web is deeply interconnected, so protecting every species counts!
If you would like to to help protect octopuses, here are some ideas:
- Use non toxic cleaning products in your home and office.
- Reduce your consumption of fish. Only buy fish recommended via our Good Fish Guide.
- Introduce more organic food into your diet, which are not sprayed with pesticides that run off into rivers and the sea.
- Reduce how much single-use plastic you use.
- Wash synthetic clothes in a protective washing bag to prevent microfibres accumulating in the sea.
- Purchase goods in local shops to reduce the disturbing noise and climate change associated with international shipping.
- Support the work of charities like us by donating or volunteering at a beach clean.