It’s a creature that’s so shy, scientists know little about its behavior in the wild.
But an Eastern Pacific Red Octopus outside San Francisco, California, was friendly enough that it hoisted itself from the water and walked about on dry land, much to the amazement of spectators who captured the entire thing on video.
‘Where are you headed, dude?’ the astonished cameraman asks as the slimy mollusc creeps through the seaweed next to a tide pool.
The octopus was spotted at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, about 20 miles south of San Francisco.
Is this the picture of primordial life emerging from the seas and learning to live on terra firma?
Probably not. Middlebury College researcher Alexa Warburton recounted several terrestrial escape attempts among the octopi she studied.
‘Octopuses in captivity actually escape their watery enclosures with alarming frequency,’ according to an article in Orion Magazine.
‘While on the move, they have been discovered on carpets, along bookshelves, in a teapot, and inside the aquarium tanks of other fish—upon whom they have usually been dining.’
The fellow pictured in the video stayed out of water for just about two minutes.
He wobbled creepily around, spit out a half-eaten crab, and slithered back into a tide pool.
The Eastern Pacific Red Octopus is one of the most prolific shallow-water octopi on on the west coast.
They typically weigh less than a third of a pound and have tentacles that grow up to 15 inches.
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