Octopuses are pretty majestic when you think about it. They float from place to place and release a mysterious ink when they feel threatened. But has anyone ever seen an octopus engorge itself and inflate like a balloon?
PT Hirschfield, who is a blogger and a diver, recently encountered a unique experience with an octopus around the shallow-water reef in Australia. The video shows the octopus approaching Hirschfield, while simultaneously scooping up water and engorging itself, much like how a balloon looks once it’s inflated.
According to Hirschfield, there is no clear answer as to what the octopus’ purpose was in “ballooning” itself. “Whether it rushed towards me purely for having sensed some doomed crab’s movement near me, which it then puffed itself up like a parachute to capture [it],” Hirschfield wrote in his blog. “Or, whether its attack posture was also intended to intimidate me remained a mystery.”
However, Professor Kathleen Sullivan Sealey, an associate professor of biology at the University of Miami, said it’s more than likely the octopus was trying to hunt prey. “It’s shooting water out of its mantle,” she said. “It was using that water to chase little shrimp out from the rocks so that they would get caught in its legs and the webbing between its legs.”
Regardless of the reason for this octopus ballooning itself, it’s still pretty cool to watch!