Posted: 10:06 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013
By Rick Couri
The octopus was just minding its own business when it scared the life out of a diver.
Roger Hanlon and his team study cephalapods, a set of animals that includes cuttlefish, squid, and octopus.
Hanlon knows the creatures are masters of disguise, can rapidly change colors and are capable of squeezing themselves into tiny places.
That still didn’t prepare him for what you’ll see on the video below.
“No one comes even close to the speed and diversity of appearances,” Hanlon told the Science Friday radio show.
These inkfish can match the color and texture of their surroundings in fractions of a second by
The Woods Hole Oceanographic researcher explained further “the amazing thing is that these animals are color blind yet they are capable of creating color-match patterns.”
Hanlon finished, sounding frustrated when he said “but we don’t know how.”
The science behind the camouflage comes from pigments in their skin called Chromatophores. These tiny cells can change color faster than the blink of an eye creating patterns and colors that can pulse, flash, or be still.
The video isn’t new, but it’s worth watching again.