Intelligence Test – You’re Doing It Wrong

oct_in_box_9

Oh Truman, you umm… you look like you could use a hand. Or maybe just a hug. I know how much you octopi enjoy having your tentacles fondled. And yes, I see you there, Crab-in-the-box, laughing it up like some kind of delirious madman because you think you’ve just taken on Death and won. Well you might as well wipe that shit-eating grin off your face now, because we all know the next octopus you come across won’t botch this shit up like Truman has, bless him. And did it ever occur to you that maybe he just isn’t interested in your soggy crab meat, maybe he just wants to be a dancer, but he’s scared because his parents are both really successful astrophysicists and they wouldn’t understand so he hides in this (albeit devastatingly translucent) box? Take your flaky wares elsewhere.

Contrary to what Truman over there would have us believe, octopi are actually remarkably intelligent creatures, tales of their unusual antics dividing the opinion of Aquarium staff the world over as they try to figure out if these are the most playful, or more sinister of all the sea creatures. In a case for the former, an octopus at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium recently flooded the entire building with 760 litres of seawater when she managed to swim to the surface of her enclosure, dissemble and redirect the water valve so it flowed outside her tank for ten hours overnight. Just for kicks. Tee hee. But then in a frightening case for the latter, recounted by Eugene Linden (worded in such a way that it will haunt my dreams forever) in The Octopus and the Orangutan:

“An octopus, when given a slightly spoiled shrimp, stuffed it down the drain whilst maintaining eye contact with its keeper.”

Oh dear God. And Truman couldn’t even manage a simple task like unfastening a smaller locked box inside a bigger locked box to get to his terrified but delicious lunch. He just smushed his two-metre-long body through a two-inch hole in the side, hung out for about half an hour, and then exited again. What a simpleton. This is probably the first time anyone has actually been disappointed about not getting crabs on their way out.*

More photos of the madness here.

*No more jokes about STDs for at least a week. Promise.

– bec

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3 Comments

Filed under Science, Sea Creatures

3 responses to “Intelligence Test – You’re Doing It Wrong

  1. Octi are the Bond villians of the sea

  2. Pingback: Lose the Coconut Shells, Veined Octopus. You’re Holding Everyone Up! « Save Your Breath For Running Ponies

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