That I would see a big red Ruby Octopus on my fourth and final dive of my PADI Open Water course, I would never believe! To actually get to see one in real life, and not just in a film, was an amazing experience. To see it´s movement and behaviour under water just made me want to know more about this interesting and fascinating animal.
An Octopus has two eyes and eight arms, and is bilaterally symmetrical. An octopus trails its eight arms behind it as it swims. They have a hard beak, and its mouth is located at the centre point between the arms. An octopus has no internal or external skeleton, which means that they can squeeze through tight spaces and form themselves into amazing forms and shapes.
Octopus inhabit many diverse regions of the ocean, including coral reefs, pelagic waters, and the ocean floor. They have numerous strategies for defending themselves against predators, including the expulsion of ink, their ability to jet quickly through the water, and their ability to hide and their use of camouflage and deimatic displays of startling behaviour, so as to scare off or momentarily distract a predator, thus giving the Octopus a chance to escape.
All octopuses are venomous, but only one group, the blue-ringed octopus, is known to be deadly to humans. Around 300 species are recognised, which is over one-third of the total number of known cephalopod species.
Interesting facts about Octopus
- Octopuses are considered the most intelligent of all invertebrates. Scientific studies are increasingly confirming that they are sentient creatures.
- The environment and lifestyle of octopuses means that they need to be capable of complex and flexible behaviour. As active predators they need to explore, understand and remember their environment and the behaviour of other animals.
- It´s a very, very old animal. The oldest known octopus fossil belongs to an animal that lived some 296 million years ago. In other words, long before life on land had progressed beyond puny pre-dinosaur reptiles, octopuses had already established their shape for the millions of years to come.
- Octopuses actually have three hearts. Two of the hearts work exclusively to move blood beyond the animal’s gills, while the third keeps circulation flowing for the organs.
- Their color and size is determined by their environment. Those that live in colder water will be much larger than those that live in tropical water.
- They can change their color and texture of the skin to blend with environment and become invisible.
Having visited the dive sites at Ko Haa, which are just an hour’s boat ride with Scubafish boat from Kantiang Bay, I have now seen Octopus more than once. Ko Haa is an excellent place to visit, not only to see octopuses but also to see the beautiful corals and other fascinating marine life. It is definitely worth a visit!
Thank you for reading!