17 Facts About Octopuses That’ll Straight Fuck You Up

If one of their arms is cut off, the arm will often just continue on as though nothing has happened for several hours.

Unless otherwise noted, all facts are sourced from The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery (which is a legitimately awesome book and I totally recommend it).

1. Octopuses have a dominant eye the same way humans have a dominant hand.

Patrik Stollarz / AFP / Getty Images

2. They can taste with their skin.

Their suckers are best at it, though.

3. Octopuses can shrink themselves down and get their bodies through truly tiny openings.

4. Three-fifths of an octopus’s neurons are in its arms, not its brain.

Thesp4n1sh / Getty Images

This has led to speculation that their minds and sense of self may be organized and distributed in a radically different way than humans’ are.

5. If an octopus’s arm is cut off, the arm will often just continue on as though nothing has happened for several hours.

The severed arm may even grab food and try to put it into its mouth…which, of course, is no longer there.

6. The arms may even have different personalities.

Loic Venance / AFP / Getty Images

Researchers have observed that an octopus may have some arms that are bold (walking toward food in an unfamiliar setting, for example) while other arms appear to be shy or hesitant.

7. The muscle fibers in octopuses’s arms make them functionally more like human tongues than human biceps.

Alex Popov / Getty Images

Each arm is also strong enough to pull hundreds of times the octopus’s own weight. A single 2.5-inch sucker is strong enough to lift 35 pounds in weight.

8. They can operate each sucker individually.

Loic Venance / AFP / Getty Images

AND! Each sucker can pinch the way a human’s thumb and finger can.

9. They can open childproof pill bottles.

10. Octopuses are masters of camouflage — they can change color, pattern, and texture in less than a second.

Ian Waldie / Getty Images

And a single octopus could have as many as 50 different patterns in its repertoire.

11. They can also create moving patterns and light shows on their skin.

Ullstein Bild / Getty Images

One of the patterns, “Passing Cloud,” makes the octopus look like it’s moving when it’s not.

12. Oh, and this doesn’t just happen; the octopus chooses the appropriate camouflage and shape for each occasion.

But sometimes they just change colors based on their mood.

13. They are also shape shifters.

That’s the same octopus as the one in #11 BTW.

14. They like puzzles and toys.

Afp / AFP / Getty Images

One researcher devised a series of plexiglass boxes with sliding latches that fit inside one another. Octopuses would open them to get to the crab that was locked inside the innermost one.

15. Despite how amazing they are, their life span is only a few years.

Motiongarten / Via giphy.com

16. This is what a baby octopus looks like:

17. Yes, it’s octopuses, don’t @ me.

Fotokon / Getty Images

Per Mongtomery: “You can’t put a latin ending — i — on a word derived from Greek (like octopus).”

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