While shooting footage for the upcoming documentary Blue Planet II, divers managed to witness something quite extraordinary. A she-cephalopod was close to becoming a shark’s dinner — but then her quick wit and determination prevailed.
The series producer, Mark Brownlow, explained: “We may think of our ocean’s as blue but there is another surprising world of the Green Seas. From towering undersea forests of giant kelp to vast prairies of sea grass, this is an almost Brothers Grimm fairy tale of all the strange and magical creatures that live within these secret worlds. Here sea dragons lurk, bizarre giant cuttlefish breed, and an ingenious octopus outwits a forest full of sharks.”
The divers were entranced by the magical marine forests when they noticed the skuttle between the octopus and shark. At first, the hungry pyjama attacked the octopus. Caught off guard, she quickly inserted her tentacles in its gills to suffocate it. Long story short, the shark did not like it, and rushed off.
Likely aware that she was still on the menu, the octopus then did something amazing. As the show’s narrator, Sir David Attenborough, says: “The octopus is far from finished.” Vulnerable to another attack, the octopus scrambled to the seafloor then began attaching shells to her body with her suckers. She then rolled up into a stunning mosaic ball. By the time the shark returned, it was quite confused. When it finally figures out what’s going on, the octopus darted away!
Don’t take our word for it, watch the clip below:
— BBC Earth (@BBCEarth) November 26, 2017
We’ve only explored 5 percent of the world’s oceans, and 1 percent of the ocean floor, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). While it will be several years before the inky depths can be explored further, there is plenty that already fascinates — such as the brave octopus above who decorated herself in shells.
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Image credit: BBC, Blue Planet