The world is full of incredible and surprising creatures. The ocean, in particular, is home to tons of strange and unique animals. Some of these animals live so deep in the ocean that people rarely ever see them. Others are simply shy.
One of these shy animals is the blanket octopus.
As the name suggests, blanket octopuses have long, thin, and flat bodies that look just like blankets. These animals spend their days gliding through the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans—unlike many other types of octopus, they never rest on the seabed. They’re also naturally immune to Portuguese man o’ war jellyfish.
“Blanket octopuses get their name from sheets of webbing that stretch between some of their arms,” National Geographic writes. “When threatened, they stretch their arms out, creating a blanket-like silhouette meant to frighten would-be attackers away.”
National Geographic also says that the octopuses can ‘drop’ their tentacles to distract would-be predators. These octopuses have tons of natural built-in defenses that help them survive in their harsh ocean environment.
One of the most unusual things about blanket octopuses is the size difference between male and female octopuses.
Fully-grown male blanket octopuses are typically the size of a walnut, but females can grow to be about six feet long! The female octopuses are also typically 40,000 times heavier than the male octopuses.
Biologist Tom Tregenza says that females are so much bigger since they’re the ones laying the eggs.
“I think the males are small because they’ve got no real reason to be big,” Tregenza told Wired. “Females have an obvious reason. Females are generally bigger in most animals because if they’re bigger, they can make more eggs or babies, and the more babies or eggs you can make, the more chance you have of getting your genes into the next generation.”
The rarest type of blanket octopuses are the rainbow octopuses.
In 2019, a scuba diver was shocked when they spotted a pair of rainbow blanket octopuses swimming off the coast of the Philippines. The diver quickly started shooting a video of the octopuses.
These two incredible creatures look completely unreal! The diver was amazed when they saw the pair gliding around in the water with their webbing extended, showing off their full range of colors.
Video of this stunning creature quickly viral on YouTube. Commenters loved the octopuses’ amazing range of colors.
“That’s the most beautiful creatures I’ve ever seen,” one commenter wrote.
Another commenter said the octopus was probably even more colorful than we could see:
“I wish we had more color cones in our eyes because I bet he’s billions of more colors,” the commenter said.
The world is full of truly amazing animals that are so unique they look almost alien. If you’d like to see this beautiful creature gliding around in the water, check out the video below.
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Source: USA Today