Eight arms, one shutter

This had to be the experience of a (fairly quiet) lifetime:

Ben Savard was photographing an octopus at Middlebury College in Vermont on Monday when the animal suddenly grabbed the camera and snapped some photos of its own.

Savard, a digital media producer, wanted to capture some photos of the octopuses the school’s neuroscience students have been studying.

“I put a GoPro in a waterproof casing, set it to take a rapid number of photos per second and, with the help of the neuroscience student behind me in the photos, placed the camera in the octopus tank,” he told MNN. “We did this a few times with different octopuses and one of the more cheeky cephalopods grabbed the camera and turned it around on me for a quick couple of pictures.”

The cephalopod in question is Octopus bimaculoides, the California two-spot octopus, renowned for its friendly temperament:

Middlebury neuroscience students have been observing to see if the species can open boxes of food more quickly after seeing other octopuses do it.

I’m guessing they’re probably fast learners.

(Via Fark.)





5 comments

  1. McGehee »

    5 March 2015 · 7:58 pm

    As smart as the damned things are I was surprised how short an octopus’s lifespan is. If they lived as long as us we would be in serious trouble.

  2. fillyjonk »

    5 March 2015 · 8:09 pm

    I have read that they’re as smart as dogs are. (And probably a lot smarter than a few dogs I’ve known).

    You can’t walk one on a leash, though.

  3. CGHill »

    5 March 2015 · 8:24 pm

    Maybe the mythical Pacific Northwest tree octopus.

  4. Roger Green »

    6 March 2015 · 5:57 am

    First thought is that the courts have determined that the octopus has no intellectual property rights to those photos.

  5. CGHill »

    6 March 2015 · 6:49 am

    Ha! I would not be the least bit surprised.

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