Biologist Robert Hanlon studies how cephalopods, a group of marine animals that includes octopus, squid, and cuttlefish, blend into their surroundings by changing the colour and pattern of their skin.
Hanlon captured a particularly incredible example of an octopus going in and out of camouflage while diving in the Caribbean. The video was first posted to Science Friday last August.
Here’s how Hanlon described the moment to NPR’s multimedia editor Flora Lichtman:
Well, the scene is this: diving along a shallow coral reef in the Caribbean and there’s a rock sitting out in a sand plain, all by itself, and it’s just looks like a plain, boring rock. And as the video comes a little bit closer to the rock, suddenly, one-third of it turns into a bright white octopus that has been beautifully camouflaged, and suddenly goes out of the camouflage because the cameramen are so close and then it inks in the face and swims off. So you – it really was – I think I yelled wow at the moment of…
Check out the exciting moment in the GIF below:
And here’s the full video:
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