Back in 2015, I wrote about the pending octopus apocalypse and just this morning, we have new evidence of their nefarious plans.
Cosmos (not to be confused with Cosmo) published an extensive article on the intelligence of the octopus, along with increasing scientific evidence that they are bioengineering themselves - sometimes within minutes - to adapt to their environment and thus take over the world.
OK, the scientists did not actually state that last thing. But, c’mon.
The article starts out with what seems to be a funny little story about Otto, a young octopus living in captivity in Germany who was so annoyed by the bright light shining into his tank 24/7 that he climbed out and used his siphon “like a firehose” until it shorted out the entire electrical system. Three nights in a row. The humans finally figured it out and got the message, and he moved on to juggling hermit crabs for entertainment.
But then the article does a deep dive into octopus brains and adaptation, and it is not comforting, let me tell you. They definitely have PLANS.
In addition to their oversized brain, each arm has its own mini-brain, the better to control each appendage and hundreds of suckers. And if half of you stop reading right here, I will completely understand, because did you know that an octopus can choose to detach an arm and that arm will continue to move with purpose for up to 10 minutes?
In addition to the arm brains, these creatures have “camera eyes” to scrutinize and assess their environment, in order to trigger their camouflage, referred to as a “thinking skin” throughout the article. That’s not creepy at all, is it? In addition to being capable of instantly changing color to blend in with its surroundings, an octopus can also change pattern - and texture! - for a better match.
One of the more disturbing developments is the uncooperative nature of the octopus as a scientific research subject. They do not want to be studied, thank you very much, and unlike those dumb lab rats, they are well equipped to take care of the problem. They remove probes, wires, electrodes - thanks to those tentacles that can operate somewhat independently - and if they can’t remove the thing, they just shut down the “neuron firing” that scientists are trying to record.
Scientists, rather than being alarmed by these discoveries, seem amused and intrigued and spend quite a bit of time throwing shade on all the mollusk relatives - “Nautilus – the stupid cousin,” and “They do things like clever animals even though they’re closely related to oysters,” - and fondly summarizing their frustrations with their subjects: “Everything about this animal is goofy and weird.”
That’s what they want you to think, you fools.
The gist of the article is that octopus genetic adaptations, while along the lines of mammalian ones (i.e., us), do not follow the rules. They have the “brain-forming genes” of complex vertebrates. They edit their brain proteins “on the fly” and with abandon, and damn the consequences.
One of which may be, thank goodness, a short life span.