A Walking Octopus? Biologists Explain Bizarre Video

What has 8 legs and walks on land? Yes, spiders. But also a walking octopus. A family in California filmed a small octopus walking on land as it tried to catch its next meal.

Here’s the video of the octopus walking on land.

Does the video surprise you? According to Julian Finn, a senior curator of marine invertebrates at the Museum Victoria in Australia, it shouldn’t.

Finn told the Scientific American:

“Crawling along out of water is not uncommon for species of octopus that live in the intertidal or near shore… many octopus species emerge to hunt in the pools of water left behind by the receding tide… Octopuses often carry prey items when foraging, returning to their lairs to consume them. It is possible that the octopus in the video was either finished consuming the contents of the crab or was too tired to continue carrying it on land.”

Finn also says that an octopus can use their unique land walking abilities to escape a predator. If an octopus feels that it is in danger, it may take a little breather on land.

Of course, being on land is also a danger. According to James Wood, a marine biologist and curator of The Cephalopod Page, an octopus needs to keep its skin moist to breath. On land, an octopus would only survive a few minutes.

I knew that an octopus is capable of psychically predicting soccer games. I mean, that’s a given. But walking on land… that surprised me.

Did you know that octopuses could walk on land?