Octopus: Threat or Menace?

The Evil From the Deep

It lurks beneath the waves.  In the deep.

In the dark.

It writhes in haunted, timeless sleep among the graves of ancient ships.  Shining empires crumble and fall and rise again from the ones before, sending their fleets across the sea, extending their reach beyond their shores.

Until they reach too far.

Eyes like pits of glowering evil regard the world of sun and air, once forgotten, but now remembered, and cavernous hunger drives it forth.  Ascending on a cloud of darkness, its rage whips the sea into froth and batters another helpless ship.

Snapping timber and shredding sail, dragging men into the depths, rending flesh in savage maw, and…

…stealing video cameras?

In light of this startling video evidence, what do you think?

62 thoughts on “Octopus: Threat or Menace?

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      Thanks, Elaine! They are a fascinating animal, and highly intelligent too, from what I understand. That must have been a neat experience to see them while diving, even if they are shy.

        1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

          Yeah, I know some people see sharks when they dive, and everything goes okay. I like sharks, but I don’t think I’d ever be comfortable in the water with one.

          1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

            There’s probably one shark that’s the carnivorous fish equivalent to Casper the Friendly Ghost. “Gosh! I don’t want to eat people. I just want to be friendly.”

          2. lwsapir

            He probably gets teased mercilessly by the other sharks. So much so, in fact, that he is now a shark-hating shark. Maybe even a shark serial killer.

  1. lwsapir

    The octopus was clearly just trying to make a movie. Can’t blame him, though it would have been more polite had he asked to borrow the camera instead of stealing it. Very stealthy though. Who would’ve thought? [the song in this video is AWESOME, btw!]

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      It definitely would’ve been more polite to ask. It’s like he’s the Ninja of the Deep.

      And yeah, I had no idea there was like an octopus love song or something. A perfect choice for the video.

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      Hi, Kim!

      Yeah, I’ve always thought the octopus is really cool and that they got a bad rap in the ancient days.

      And thanks for the compliment on the lead-up post. I worked particularly hard on it and it’s nice to hear that someone enjoyed it 🙂

  2. Prue

    Woohoo! Awesome 😀
    Next time, carry two video cameras and then you can video the octopus swimming away. They are intelligent – maybe it just wanted to play?

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      Oh, I didn’t actually film the video. I just found it, thought it was worth sharing, and featured it in a post 🙂

      But yeah, octopuses are apparently extremely intelligent.

          1. lwsapir

            And they can get out of tanks, take side trips to nearby tanks, and get back to their own tanks without anyone being the wiser? WTH?

          2. Mike Schulenberg Post author

            Cool, huh?

            Either that, or there’s an intelligent fish in the tank that’s framing the poor octopus.

            But yeah, there’s video on YouTube of an octopus crawling along on the ground, not in the water or anything.

  3. Kirsten

    Great video!
    As a biologist who watched my share of Jacques Costeau when I was growing up, I can tell you this one ranks right up there with the great ones. Even better actually, since it made me LOL.

    I can see a theme developing here: hungry creatures with ‘more limbs than proper.’ 😉

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      Cool, I didn’t you you were a biologist. There was a brief time when I was young that I wanted to be a marine biologist, but a college-level biology class or two made me realize I wasn’t motivated enough for the work it would’ve required. It still seems like a neat career, though.

      1. Kirsten

        I don’t even do much biology anymore, though I do get to use a microscope every day.
        I had the marine biologist bug too. After I found out that, in the entire United States, only one of them per year gets a job, I decided to broaden my focus.

        And that it would be fun to write books on the side. 😉

  4. Lara Schiffbauer

    Octopi have been suffering prejudice ever since Jules Verne wrote 2,000 Leagues Under the Sea! Maybe the video was the bazillionth rude human to take his picture without asking, and he’d had enough! I love this post, Mike. Thanks!

  5. hmcmullin

    Fascinating! Octopus needs a bit more practice with his filming techniques. Until recently I’d always thought octopus were creepy (too many horror movies), but now find them rather interesting – and very intelligent. Maybe this was his version of annoy the tourists.

  6. Mike Schulenberg Post author

    Yes, someone needs to inform Octopus that you’re not supposed to cover the camera lens. I know they’re usually supposed to be a rather shy animal. I bet his friends put him up to it.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Sara Walpert Foster

    What a beautiful creature. When I think of octopi, I usually imagine the cartoon pictures of them, which really don’t do them justice.

    I think this octopus could be the star of an underwater James Bond movie, maybe a new take on the film, Octopussy. Has spear gun, will destroy the enemy, save the world, and get entangled with a few fascinating female sea creatures along the way.

    Love your lead up to the video. Great writing, Mike.

  8. Pingback: Let Me Break It Down For You - Laird Sapir

  9. Pingback: Poll Results: Octopoids Are Our Friends | Mike Schulenberg

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