Scientists Spotted An Octopus ‘Guarding’ Something, And Then They Realized Why

With exceptionally high intelligence levels, strangely short lifespans, and intriguing physical features, the octopus is truly a wonder — so much so that conspiracy theorists believe these creatures to come from outer space! But even though they are fascinating, researchers happened upon a unique octopus that was performing an act that could be considered strange even by its own species' standards. Since it appeared to be guarding something, the researchers were set on uncovering this octopus' jaw-dropping secret...

Searching for meaning

For 25 years, a team of Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) researchers, under the leadership of marine biologist Bruce Robison, has conducted studies on deep-sea creatures at “Midwater 1.” What’s that, you ask? Midwater 1 is a site earmarked for further study, located in Monterey Canyon. While they have witnessed plenty of intriguing events during their time underwater, Bruce and his team would soon witness a phenomenon unlike any other...

Getting started

Robinson’s team decided to perform one of their routine surveys of Midwater 1 come May 2007. Hoping to collect new data for scientific research, the team decided to plunge into the ocean depths using its state-of-the-art audio and visual technologies. Fortunately, the researchers didn’t have to wait long for their first sighting.

The ocean’s depths

Considering that these depths were one mile deep underwater, any survey of the Monterey Canyon is expected to take time. Still, upon reaching 4,600 feet, Robertson and his crew made an exciting discovery. A female octopus was clinging to the edge of a rocky ledge just above the ocean floor. For a creature capable of swimming, this seemed like a peculiar act.

The wonders of the octopus

While the octopus didn’t seem to be doing anything of note at first, the researchers were keen to learn more about this creature. Why, you ask? Well, this would be because of the many facts that make the octopus such a fascinating species.