Humans want to believe that they're the smartest creatures on the planet. But the more we understand octopuses, the more it seems that we may not be alone in our ability to solve problems, make complex connections between ideas, and survive by wits alone. A growing body of evidence — a lot of it still anecdotal — suggests that octopuses show elements of human-like intelligence. But their intelligence has evolved for very different reasons than ours did, which makes them particularly difficult to understand.
Over at Orion magazine, Sy Montgomery has an incredible, in-depth article about what it's like to know octopuses (we linked to it a few weeks ago) — and perhaps, what it's like to be one. He interviews scientists who work with these invertebrates, and eventually befriends an octopus named Athena. Here's a fascinating piece of his article, which you will definitely want to read in full at Orion: