When we look to the stars, we can’t help but imagine the bizarre life forms that might exist in the depths of space. The imagination runs wild… there could be creatures that bleed different colors, or with brains in their arms, or taste buds on their feet!
But what if these creatures are already here? Lurking in the depths of our oceans, in our aquariums, and sometimes even on our dinner tables, without us even realizing how alien they truly are.
This is an Octopus. These are Octopuses, not Octopi. And they are some of the strangest life forms ever created here on Earth.
They have the intelligence to navigate mazes, use tools, and build their own shelters. And, their physical attributes make them quite the escape artists. Because they only have one bone in their body, they can squeeze themselves out of holes as small as a coin.
Octopuses have been around for nearly 300 million years, yet some scientists still believe that they came from outer space. How do we know that these scientists aren’t onto something? What strange features make Octopuses seem so alien? What proof do we have that they did originate on Earth? And what can they teach us about own lives?
We humans don’t tend to give our planet enough credit. Often, if something seems complex or bizarre, there’s someone who concludes it must’ve come from outer space.
So what are the bizarre complexities that made Octopuses fall into this category? Well, for one, its blood. It’s a very ‘alien blue’. The reason for this color is that their blood is copper-based, rather than iron-based like ours. Copper is more efficient in transporting oxygen throughout their bodies in the cold, low-oxygen environments that most Octopuses live in.
An Octopus’ nervous system is also vastly different from that of a human’s. Two thirds of their neurons actually reside in their long apendages, as opposed to their brains. Because their arms literally have a mind of their own, they can complete tasks independent from the rest of their body.
A couple of appendages could be figuring out the puzzle of opening a shellfish, while the rest of the body searches for food. If you were to cut off an arm, it would still react to physical stimulation. In fact, there have been cases where diners have died while eating a live octopus arm that decided to fight back.
Even though their brain power is so spread out, they are some of the most intelligent creatures in the ocean. They can solve complex problems, like opening a jar from the inside, and remember those solutions. They’ve proven to be able to use tools like discarded coconut shells, to build their own shelter to protect them from predators. They’ve also learned that camouflaging themselves to look like poisonous fish or snakes can be a good way to keep predators at bay.
But perhaps the most fascinating demonstrations of their high IQ have come from their time in captivity. In 2016 an Octopus in a New Zealand aquarium escaped its tank overnight and navigated all the way back to the sea through a drain pipe. In Germany, workers kept finding the Octopus room shrouded in darkness every morning. Eventually they discovered that the Octopus had figured out how to precisely shoot streams of water to flick off the light switches.
In 2018, a group of scientists found Octopus traits so bizarre that they theorized they must have alien origins. Their study claims that the formative genes of the Octopus had never been found in any pre-existing life form, so they must’ve been borrowed from the cosmos, rather than Earthly evolution.
However, it didn’t take long for this theory to be de-bunked. Marine Biologists agreed that a simple look at Octopus DNA is enough to confirm their Earthly origins. Octopuses share a lot of genes with other animals like snails, flies, and humans, indicating that they share common ancestors, and therefore are from the same planet as the rest of us.
In fact, Biologists believe that we could even learn a bit about ourselves from them. If we can figure out the Octopuses’ complex thought process, it could teach us about how our own minds handle information, and how our mental capacity has evolved over time.
So while Octopuses may look and act like our idea of aliens from outer space, it turns out they are just one of our own.Sources
- Octopuses are not aliens, but boy are they a bunch of beautiful weirdos
- Ten Curious Facts about Octopuses
- Are Octopuses Smart?
- The Great Escape
- The Story Of An Octopus Named Otto
- Octopus snatches coconut and runs
- Bizarre New Study Suggests Octopuses Came From Outer Space
- HOW THE FREAKY OCTOPUS CAN HELP US UNDERSTAND THE HUMAN BRAIN