Face-to-face encounter with the maestro of deception.
Jonathan Gordon noticed this fantastic camouflaging octopus (who looks a lot like ‘Squidward’) while snorkeling in the Caribbean. Octopuses, like other cephalopods such as squid and cuttlefish, may alter their color by employing chromatophores, which are pigment cells in their skin.
“While snorkeling in the Caribbean, this guy really surprised me. I went down to examine the shell right under where the octopus appears, and as I neared, the octopus emerged from its hiding place. Gordon added, “I honestly had no idea he was there until I was approximately a metre away.”
Octopuses are sometimes referred to as “sea chameleons.” They may modify their appearance to attract a partner, conceal, or convey a warning message, just like other cephalopods like squid and cuttlefish. The infamous blue-ringed octopus releases an iridescent blue flash to warn predators away.
For your convenience, here is nature’s version of a “Don’t Touch” sign.
But how do they manage to achieve it?
The animal manipulates the chromatophores in its skin using a mix of pigment, nerves, and muscles to modify its exterior appearance. Chromatophores change color as a result of “neuronal activation,” which occurs when the animal’s brain sends a signal to the rest of the body.
Chameleons, on the other hand, gradually change color. In that instance, the color shift might take several minutes to complete.
However, altering color is only one of the ways an octopus may alter its look. It may change the texture of its skin to resemble rocks, sand, coral heads, or other landscape components by modifying the papillae on their skin!
A mimic octopus may also imitate the form of other water animals in addition to altering its color. This video shows how it may resemble a flat fish, lion fish, or sea snake:
Octopuses lack part of the color receptors in their eyes that humans do, thus they only perceive black and white. Scientists have no idea why, and can only guess how these creatures utilize their sight to choose which hue and pattern to imitate. However, an object that seems red on the surface may appear brown or black when seen from a distance. According to some study, octopuses and other cephalopods may identify color through focus (rather than cones), rather than perceiving color like humans do.