Yesterday evening I was on a solo dive with a mission to film giant pacific octopus. They’re a nocturnal animal, so the best chance of seeing them out in the open is usually during the night. Diving on your own in a dark environment can be unnerving, especially when your looking for a creature that can reach an average length of 16ft. Despite their size, they aren’t interested in a diver for dinner. Their targets are crabs, cockles and other crustaceans they can scrounge from the sea floor. As I descended into dark, my light caught a glimmer of an eye. A small octopus no bigger than 10 inches was perched on a rock, examining my every move. I spent over half an hour filming the little creature, whom seemed just as interested in me as I was in her, until suddenly she was spooked and darted between the boulders. As I slowly looked behind me, an arm extended to wrap around my fin. Unknowingly I had knelt down at the entrance to a much larger octopus den and was receiving a gentle reminder to “move along”. The suckers on GPO arms are equipped with taste and smell receptors, and after receiving a mouthful of rubber and neoprene, she released me, and return to her den.
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