« Taiwan Marches | Main | North Korean Crimes »

March 26, 2005


Eve Garrard

How do the scientists know that the octopus is disguising itself as a coconut shell, for pity's sake? There must be other objects which look as much like an octopus with six legs wrapped round its head as a coconut shell does. I mean to say, when you gaze at a coconut shell you don't find yourself saying, 'Mmm, that does look a bit like an octopus with six legs wrapped round its head', do you?

Mick H

I was wondering the very same thing. Are coconuts so common in the ocean's depths that octopuses think it worthwhile to be able to imitate one? The whole thing is dubious. Maybe the octopuses think it's cool to go around with six tentacles wrapped around their heads. Maybe they're imitating sharks but really aren't very good at it. Who knows?


i watched a documentary (discovery channel?) last year about the elusive 'mimic octopus'. the octopus (quite convincingly) mimicked fish and less animate sea flora both in shape, and in swimming style to elude or confuse predators. i know it sounds unconvincing on paper, but you'd believe if you saw it.

Mike Hill

Grant that a coconut is what the octopus has in mind. Okay. But a walking coconut would certainly get my attention.


Ah, but can it do the accent?


Scientists might only have seen this behaviour recently but it's been common behaviour in cartoons for years. I seem to recall seeing octopi scuttling across the sea bed on two tentacles in cartoons years ago.
That's an educational reason for watching cartoons if ever there was.


Because nobody suspects coconuts...

won't it now be attacked by a bunch of coconut eating monkeys or crabs (or something). Disguise yourself as rock - other things don't tend to eat rocks.


Actually rocks are regularly eaten by lots of animals to aid in digestion. Ostriches for one.

The comments to this entry are closed.