An upside-down waterfall of baby octopuses is equal parts adorable and gross

It's not uncommon for many species of octopus to die promptly after mating, but at least the sight of these cephalopods creating new life can be beautiful. Or squirm-inducing! It really depends on your tolerance for thousands of wriggling, miniature octopuses.


Last year, biologist Richard Ross of the California Academy of Sciences' Steinhart Aquarium filmed this octopus unloosing a horde of tiny, difficult-to-care-for hatchlings into the upper reaches of its tank. Explains the Academy of that ball of organic horror:

Shortly after being put on exhibit at the Academy, this Caribbean Octopus vulgaris took up residence inside a glass bottle, on full view for adoring fans. Just as quickly, it moved back under a rock and started denning, and laying eggs. While eggs being laid in captivity is generally an exciting event, this particular species, like many but not all octopus, stops eating after it lays eggs and dies soon after they hatch which tends to put a damper on the joyous occasion.

And for those of you with delicate dispositions, here's Ross' video of Fontenelle the Amphiocotpus marginatus demonstrating some stellar jar-opening skills. See also: two mimic octopuses, mid-coitus.

[Zooborns via NOTCOT]



I got a little verklempt. That was beautiful.