Watch this octopus change colors as it dreams

New research suggests that octopuses experience ‘quiet’ and ‘active’ sleep states like humans, even undergoing brief dreaming periods. While there’s no evidence to conclude that they dream the way people do, they do light up in different colors when they snooze.

That’s according to a marine biologist who captured this octopus snoozing away in a fish tank.

The neuroprocessing abilities of cephalopods (i.e., brain with tentacles attached) like the octopus activate their color-changing cells in response to their environments.

What does an octopus dream about?

While we don’t know exactly what the octopus dreams about, the shift to a darker color represents the octopuses movement off the seafloor. Meanwhile, the camouflage sequence mimics the change that happens when octopuses hide from prey.

Watch the snippet below and the entire clip on PBS.

Animals Nature

The flamboyant cuttlefish

The cuttlefish (Sepia latimanus) is a real master of color change. 

The bioluminescent fish can modify their appearance and shape using flashing LCD-like bands to hypnotize prey before snatching it up. 

That’s right — these fish use their strobing disco lights to psyche-out crabs and small fish!  

Like the octopus, the cuttlefish have pigmented chromatophores in their skin, allowing them to camouflage with their surroundings. 

Learn more about the cuttlefish in the video below. 


The Octopus in my house

BBC Earth is back with another excellent special, this time focusing on the intriguing creature of the octopus.

Octopuses are intelligent, containing nine brains, three hearts, and half a billion neurons in their arms which allow the tentacles to function independently from the brain.

The Octopus: Aliens living on Earth?

Alien-like, it is also believed that octopuses have a consciousness. So otherworldly, Hawaiian mythology believes that the octopus is the only surviving member of a previous version of Earth.

The octopus can also adapt to different colors and textures with fluidity, completely camouflaging with their surroundings. Be sure to check out the rainbow octopus!

From the BBC’s show notes:

A professor develops an extraordinary relationship with an octopus when he invites it to live in his home. The octopus, called Heidi, unravels puzzles, recognises individual humans and even watches TV with the family.

The episode also shows remarkable behaviour from around the world – from the day octopus, which can change colour and texture in a split second, to the coconut octopus, which carries around its own coconut shell to hide in. But most fascinating of all is seeing how Professor David Scheel and his daughter Laurel bond with an animal that has nine brains, three hearts and blue blood running through its veins.


Rare ‘rainbow’ blanket octopus

Take a look at this video of these ultra-rare trippy rainbow blanket octopuses caught on camera off the coast of Romblon, Philippines.

Coincidentally, they arrive just in time for Pride month.

It’s no wonder these intelligent alien-looking creatures have “half a billion neurons, about as many as a dog.” And most of those neurons are in their arms.

They may even have consciousness.