A man snorkelling in the Caribbean captured an amazing and rarely observed phenomenon of a camouflaging octopus.
It turns out that some octopuses are masters of camouflage, but when danger lurks and it becomes clear that blending in with its surroundings is not working, the octopus will shed its disguise.
The video, which was recorded by Johnathan Gordon, shows the octopus camouflaged against the surrounding reef. It only became visible after Gordon drew closer and it began to transform and pulse a bright electric blue – which, admittedly for a few seconds, had the appearance of some sort of alien blob.
According to Gordon, “I dove down to have a look at the shell that you can see just under where the octopus appears and as I approached the octopus came out of hiding.”
“I had literally no idea he was there until I was about a metre away,” Johnathan wrote in the YouTube video description.
It seems the octopus felt the need to shed its camouflage, and to instead issue a warning, and responded accordingly.
Octopuses are one of a few marine creatures that can camouflage themselves under water; others include the cuttlefish and squid.
Incredibly, despite being colorblind, an octopus can not only change the tone of its skin to match its surroundings, but also its texture to blend in. This is something that has scientists stumped, as they’re still not quite sure how the octopuses know what the color of the object they’re hiding against is.
These remarkable sea creatures can also attach themselves to solid objects to camouflage and, if discovered, they would ‘puff’ themselves up in size to appear intimidating. So in Gordon’s case, the octopus was conveying a message of, “Don’t come any closer, or else!”
[Image via GrindTV/Telegraph]