Do octopuses dream? NATURE video stuns the internet

Last Updated by Linda Kotsaftis on

Watch the full episode here:

Nature Octopus: Making Contact The octopus is the closest we may get to meeting an alien.

Like a lot of people, we've been fascinated by a video clip from tonight's NATURE Season 38 premiere. 

The video shows the brilliant color changes of a sleeping 'day octopus' that indicate she may be dreaming.

Nature Octopus Dreaming Watch the brilliant color changes of a sleeping octopus.

NATURE: Octopus - Making Contact premieres Wednesday, Oct. 2nd at 7pm on Rocky Mountain PBS and streaming on the PBS Video App.  

This got us wondering, where can you see an octopus in Colorado, if anywhere?

We Google searched “where to see Octopus in Denver,” and all we got was a list of sushi restaurants.

No. We want to see one, not eat one!

A search for “where to find Octopus in Colorado,” turns out about the same results, although Red Wings fans traditionally throwing octopus on the ice at Colorado Avalanche games also pops up.

Our friends at the Butterfly Pavilion helped us out with our search. They have an octopus that Coloradans helped name Ininko Montoya.  

Aquarist Sara Stevens shared some interesting information:   

With an average lifespan of 1-2 years and ranging in size from 12-36" and 6 ½ to 22 pounds, octopuses are famous for the unique way the defend themselves in the wild -  creating a thick cloud of ink that can dull a predator’s sense of smell and allow the octopus to get away. They are also known for their intelligence and even collect shells to decorate their dens, known as octopus gardens.

“People are able to relate to octopuses in a way that is unrivaled by any other invertebrate,” notes Butterfly Pavilion aquarist, Sara Stevens. “Due to their intelligence and almost childlike way in which octopuses interact with the world, our guests seem to connect and fall in love with them very easily. It’s an animal that instantly creates a sense of awe and wonder, making them fun and important ambassadors for ocean conservation.”


Other Octopus Fun Facts:

  • The day octopus (Octopus cyanea) is found throughout the tropical Pacific Ocean from the eastern coast of Africa to Hawaii.

  • Octopuses are masters of disguise! They have specialized cells in their skin to allow them to change color at will. This ability helps them to hunt, evade predators and communicate with other octopuses. Amazingly, one day octopus was observed changing its skin pattern a total of 1,000 times within 7 hours.

  • Since octopuses in human care don't need to worry about predators, they can engage in play and be curious in ways that wouldn't be possible in the wild. This new octopus is pretty nosy and enjoys watching the comings and goings of zoo guests.

  • Octopuses are a lot like toddlers. A bored octopus will cause all sorts of mischief, so Butterfly Pavilion staff makes sure to provide plenty of entertainment, like toys, to keep the octopus engaged.

You can learn more about octopuses and many other aquatic invertebrates by visiting the Water's Edge exhibit at Butterfly Pavilion.



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