Two teeny tiny octopuses (yes, that’s the correct plural of octopus) gained notoriety last month after being found floating on some plastic trash in the reefs off the Hawaiian coast.
Marine biologists at the Kaloko-Honokohau (KAH-loh-koh Hoh-noh-KOH-how) National Historical Park discovered the creatures while they were monitoring the local coral reefs.
Scientist Sallie Beavers said that the octopuses were the size of green peas and belong to a species commonly found on the Hawaiian coast.
Despite their tiny size in the photos, these guys can grow to be 12 pounds as adults and achieve an arm span of 3 feet!
It’s clear this little one has some growing to do!
The scientists shared their discovery in a blog post that was then picked up by the Department of the Interior, making headlines around the country.
It helped that they got some amazing close-up photos of their little friends:
The discovery gave biologists the chance to clear up some misconceptions about octopuses. For example, they don’t have tentacles. In fact, the creatures have 8 arms. Only squids and cuttlefish have tentacles. Now you know!
Octopuses are able to swim by sucking water into their bodies and then expelling it out the back with their arms trailing behind them – it’s basically jet propulsion!
They can also crawl and walk in any direction, regardless of which way their eyes are facing. Check it out:
It’s common for these octopus babies to hide among floating debris until they’re a few months old.
Apparently, this little guy squirted a bit of ink on the biologists during his photoshoot.
As we know, no matter how adorable a creature looks, it’s gotta eat. Here’s a shot of the same species feating on a crab:
The biologists weren’t sure if what they found were the day or night species of octopus, but either way, these little guys aren’t the only tiny octopuses in the sea.
This video shows a different and equally adorable baby octopus found on vacation.
We’re also crushing on this juvenile red octopus – this one was so tiny that it snuck into the Monterey Bay Aquarium and lived there for about a year before it was even discovered:
There are about 300 different species of octopus that we know of, all of them pretty amazing creatures. But don’t keep them as pets unless you have space for them to grow – confined octopuses have been known to gnaw on their own arms when they’re stressed out in captivity!
And while it’s rare for them to pack enough of a punch to harm humans, they all contain venom of some sort. Combine that with their ability to use tools, employ camouflage, and even be dexterous enough to open child-proof bottles, and you’ve got one wily creature on your hands!
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Source: Inspire Story