Don’t get sucked in: octopus a master of deception


The so-called gloomy octopus is found in the Marmion Marine Park.
The so-called gloomy octopus is found in the Marmion Marine Park.

AQWA operations manager Sasha Thompson writes about the octopus in her take on Halloween.

WITH Halloween near it is time to introduce you to the wizards of the sea: creatures that can change shape and colour, make potions and disappear in clouds of ink – octopuses!

An octopus has no bones, blue blood, three hearts and a brain shaped like a donut.

With a boneless body, octopuses are free to stretch and squeeze through tiny holes or change their shape for camouflage.

They can also adjust their skin to match the texture of rocks, reef, sand or seaweed.

To change colour an octopus controls and intricately co-ordinates the millions of tiny bags of colour contained in its skin.

By opening or closing each tiny bag, to reveal or hide the colour inside, an octopus creates the perfect mix to match its surrounds and make themselves ‘disappear’.

If camouflage isn’t enough, an octopus has one other clever hiding trick – ink!

Octopuses make their own potion of ink and will release it into the water to create a smokescreen to confuse and throw off predators.

To add to the Halloween theme, the one you are most likely to see in the Marmion Marine Park is known as the ‘gloomy octopus’.