What is that strange zebra-looking creature you see running across the screen? That would be the mimic octopus. If your first guess wasn’t an octopus, don’t worry, that is exactly what the aquatic impostor wants you to think. This unique alien-like organism looks like it was plucked directly out of a sci-fi film.
Discovered in 1998, this octopus is relatively new to the scientific community. Research into these interesting creatures is ongoing. Can you imagine if the military got their hands on this camouflage power?
These eight legged deceivers can mimic the shape of various creatures including: starfish, jellyfish, crabs and underwater plant life, just to name a few. The octopuses use their ability to transform for protection as well as intimidation. The mimicry is dependent on the predator or prey at hand.
Remarkably, with their transformations come the ability to instantaneously change not only the color of their body, but also the texture. Consider them the uber-enhanced chameleons of the seas.
As wizards of the underwater realm, their trickery knows no bounds. They are currently the only known animal that can replicate the look of so many different species.
The mimic octopus diet typically consists of crustaceans and small fish. They are typically classified as either a hunter or forager.
Primarily, they dwell in the Indo-Pacific ocean, predominantly in the Indonesian Lembeh Strait. They prefer shallow, murky style waters that they can easily blend into.