It’s no secret that the ocean is becoming increasingly polluted by plastic trash. While humans are to fault, water animals must bear the brunt of the repercussions. A little coconut octopus (also known as a veined octopus) roaming in the seas of Lembeh, Indonesia, was seen finding cover inside a throwaway plastic cup in a recent film shot by diver Pall Sigurdsson.
The coconut octopus is notorious for instinctively shielding itself with shells and other natural materials discovered beneath the water, but this particular critter had unfortunately sought sanctuary in the most artificial of locations. Fortunately, Sigurdsson and his staff were on the scene to assist. They spent hours beneath water trying to find a suitable shell for their new companion to call home.
“We spent the better part of a dive and most of our oxygen saving this octopus from what was likely to be a sad conclusion,” Sigurdsson adds. “While a shell provides some protection, a passing eel or flounder would most likely consume the cup containing the octopus, killing or weakening the predator to the point where it would be devoured by a larger fish.”
The video shows Sigurdsson and the other divers offering the octopus a variety of shells until it ultimately replaced its plastic cup with the ideal one. He continues, “We tried for a long time to offer it shells in the hopes that it would exchange the shell.” “Because coconut octopuses are notorious for being finicky about which shells they maintain, we had to experiment with a variety of shells until it chose one that it liked.”
This small coconut octopus was helped by diver Pall Sigurdsson and his colleagues to swap his plastic cup for the right protective shell.