Eric Desmet was freediving along the French Rivera when he met a curious little octopus.
He spotted the little fella and wanted to get a closer look at him. As he surfaced for some air, he realized that the young octopus was very interested in his shiny new camera.
“I saw that he was moving to the camera and then I decided to go down again and see,” Desmet said in an interview with The Dodo.
Desmet watched the sneaky cephalopod grab onto the camera with his tentacles and try to swim away with it! The mischievous mollusk was a bit too small to swim away with it, so he kept sinking back to the seafloor. The little guy was determined and did not let go of his newfound treasure.
Desmet had to smile.
“Baby octopuses like to play.” Desmet shares in an interview, “They’re not very big, you know? But they are curious.”
Desmet went on to explain that he engaged in an underwater tug-of-war with the curious critter.
The octopus did not want to give the camera back at all! So Desmet was patient and gently tried to coax the camera away from the little guy.
Since Desmet is a free diver, he had to make multiple trips to the surface for air before returning to his game with his new friend. Desmet is very experienced and was very careful to not harm the baby octopus in any way. throughout the entire ordeal, he knew that there was a possibility he would not get his camera back.
“I am in the water everyday, and so as soon as I am in the sea, everything is quiet and soft. If I lose something, I lose something.” He shared with The Dodo. “If an octopus is coming to visit me or my camera, it is not a problem for me. Not at all.”
Eventually, the baby octopus got tired.
It took a little while but eventually, the little octopus got tired of playing and allowed Desmet to have his camera back. The octopus was rather displeased that he had lost his new treasure and gave Desmet the stink-eye for a while and even pounded one of his tentacles in the sand out of frustration. I’m just glad that nobody got inked.
Octopuses are very intelligent animals.
These fellas are notorious for escaping fish tanks and getting into all kinds of trouble in aquariums. Disney’s Finding Dory even depicted an octopus who was a mastermind escape artist.
This kind of intelligence is not common among cephalopods. The kind of intelligence these animals display is normally found invertebrates (animals with a backbone) like dolphins, dogs, and apes. The idea is that vertebrates evolved later and therefore have a more sophisticated brain…..but what about the octopus?
Scientists are not quite sure why octopuses evolved this way. The only similarity they have with more intelligent animals is their large brain. Even so, these animals have found ways to use tools to their advantage and play tug-of-war with freedivers.
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Source: The Dodo