Watch This Nearly Invisible Octopus Punch a Fish in Incredible Video

Written by Alan
Published: September 24, 2022
© iStock.com/Crédito:Placebo365
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To say that octopuses are fascinating creatures is an understatement. They are boneless, have blue blood, and have three hearts. They are also intelligent creatures that can solve puzzles and mazes, mainly when motivated by food as a reward.  

The octopus has nine brains, which explains its intelligence. Each of its eight arms has a mini-brain, and the ninth one is located at the center. 

The octopus puts its nine brains into good use, at least going by its behavior. For example, octopuses can use tools and collaborate with predatory fish when hunting, even though they don’t always get along.

These cephalopods with tentacles can sometimes get salty and even punch their hunting associates, as this intriguing video captures.  

The video shows a perfectly camouflaged octopus standing still at the mouth of a cave.   The camouflage is a protective feature that prevents predators from spotting the cephalopod. It is also a hunting aid that prevents prey from seeing it until it’s too late.  

The typical diets of an octopus comprise snails, small fishes, crabs, and clams. However, they have also demonstrated cannibalistic tendencies by consuming other octopuses.  

Perhaps the octopus in the short video is lying still while waiting for prey to come into striking distance. 

Next to the octopus is a starfish, but none seem to be bothered by the other’s presence.

A reef fish passes near the octopus and, at first, ignores it and lets it pass. When the fish returns and moves toward the octopus, it stretches one of its arms at lightning speed and punches the fish, causing it to change its swimming direction.

Why Does The Octopus Punch The Fish?

There are two ways to explain the punch.

The punch could be out of spite. Perhaps the octopus doesn’t like the fish hanging around its neighborhood and uses the blow to communicate its dislike.

But the more sensible explanation is that the punch is a strategy for getting a competitive advantage over food.

When one looks at the video carefully, the octopus seems to move slowly towards the back, suggesting it has spotted prey. The fish could have spotted the same food since it was swimming in the same direction as the octopus. The octopus notices the completion and punches the fish, so it gets to have the meal without sharing. 

The Punch Is Not an Isolated Case

The punch captured in the video is typical octopus behavior, particularly when hunting along with fish. 

Octopuses often swim with hunting reef fish and groupers to cover more ground and increase their chances of finding prey. Murray and grouper are fish that use sign language and gestures to communicate during hunting. The octopus’ intelligence allows it to understand the fish’s motions and tell when a fish spots prey.

The octopus seems to be getting the longer end of the stick in this collaborative arrangement using this bullish behavior. The octopus’ punch is a calculated move that hinders a fish’s ability to capture prey while increasing the octopus’.

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The Featured Image

octopus
One wild Reef Octopus (Octapus cyanea) is swimming underwater. These are invertebrates from the order of Cephalopod and have eight tentacles. Here we see the Octopus swimming on the coral reef and changing colours to camouflage itself. Image taken from scuba diving point of view, in the Andaman Sea, Krabi, Thailand.
© iStock.com/Crédito:Placebo365

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About the Author

Alan is a freelance writer and an avid traveler. He specializes in travel content. When he visits home he enjoys spending time with his family Rottie, Opie.

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