08 November 2010

Mimic octopus: The master marine magician

Ingrid Sinclair
The master magician mimic octopus in one of its many guises. Photo courtesy Buzz

You’ll be blown away by the 1 minute and 49 seconds of footage below. If you think you’ve seen it all, well, you’re wrong.

The video shows the mimic octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus), a marine magician, as it shape shifts to resemble its deep-sea friends.

The transformation is truly mind-blowing and attests to nature’s relentless way of putting our imaginations to shame.

The mimic octopus is relatively new to modern science as it was officially discovered in 1998 in the tropical waters of South East Asia, where it lives.

Although all octopuses can change colour and texture, and many can blend with the sea floor, appearing as rocks, the mimic octopus is the first octopus species ever observed to impersonate other animals. Sole fish, lion fish and sea snakes’ physical appearances are all aped by the mimic octopus.

Too amazing for words … so we’ll let the video do the talking. 

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