Fascinating Video Of Octopus Changing Color

Stephanie West, Staff Writer

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A recently released video of an octopus has scientists rethinking what they thought they knew about cephalopods. The video shows an octopus rapidly changing colors while it was sleeping. This poses the question: are cephalopods capable of dreaming while they sleep? 

The footage of the octopus is from the upcoming PBS program “Octopus: Making Contact.” Typically an octopus will change colors to evade a predator or camouflage itself while stalking its prey. However, in the documentary, a marine biologist suggests that perhaps the sudden color changes, while the octopus is sleeping, may correspond with the way the octopus is feeling during its dreams. The really different thing about this video is that it is very atypical for that rapid of a color change to occur all at once; in fact, the marine biologist admitted that they had never seen a color change that quick before. The octopus in the video goes from mustard to white to purple to red and to grey, all in a matter of seconds, which is highly unusual for octopus for two reasons:

One: They aren’t typically able to switch to another color that quickly and 

Two: They normally can only switch to the color of whatever is around them and in the video that colors that the octopus changes to are not in its environment at all.

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