Octopuses have an amazing ability to squeeze through tiny crevices, cracks and holes. This video was taken by Bermuda Institute of Ocean Studies student Raymond Deckel, who was investigating just how small a hole they can fit through as well as how long it takes them to squeeze through different sizes of holes.
Why are they so good at these kinds of escapes? Well, octopuses have no bones or outer shell. Plus they’re highly intelligent- likely more so than any other invertebrates. In laboratory experiments, octopuses can be trained to distinguish between different shapes and patterns. Octopuses have also been observed in what some have described as play -a sign of intelligence – for example, releasing toys into a circular current in their aquariums and then catching them. Octopuses often break out of their aquariums and sometimes into others in search of food. They have even boarded fishing boats and opened holds to eat crabs.
Bottom line: In this video, an octopus escapes from a plexiglass box by squeezing through a small hole.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as an EarthSky.org Editor, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She and her husband live in Tennessee, where they enjoy guitar playing and singing. They have 2 grown sons.