The Oregon Coast is home to a color-changing creature that is a “master of disguise,” according to a video that shows the creature swimming through tide pools. A change in its coloring and texture can be seen as it glides through the shallow water and reaches a rocky area. This is a tactic that giant Pacific octopuses use as a way to communicate their moods, hide from predators, or scare them away from them.
The octopus was recorded in tide pools at the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area on February 16, and posted to Instagram. It is only seen at this location a few times a year, though they may visit more often than that, according to the agency’s post.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, tide pools are isolated pockets of seawater forming on rocky shorelines as the tide recedes. There are many types of sea life living in them, including snails, barnacles, mussels, anemones, urchins, sea stars, crustaceans, and seaweed. According to officials, this octopus is actually quite small.
Monterrey Bay Aquarium reports that giant Pacific octopuses can grow as large as 16 feet and live about three to five years. Reefs and man-made coastal structures that are dim, dark, and have deep crevices are the most common habitats for these fish, according to the aquarium.