May 13 2014

The Amazing Mimic Octopus

The Mimic Octopus Goes Incognito

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”

~Jacques Yves Cousteau


A shape and color changing sea creature that will blow your mind! The Mimic Octopus, Thaumoctopus mimicus, was discovered off the coast of Indonesian in the late nineties and what a discovery. The sea is full of so many things we have yet to see…

Not only can this amazing octopus change color to match his surroundings, but he can also match the:

  • Pattern
  • Brightness

And even,

  • Texture!

I mean check this out: Amazing Camouflage

If he didn’t move, you would not have known anything was there except algae! Takes “incognito” to a whole new level. Researchers have identified at least fifteen different species of these mimic octopuses.


The Mimic Affect

Being able to “mimic” or appear like other creatures in the sea protects the mimic octopus from predators. This ability comes in handy when seeking food too. The octopus can disguise itself as a harmless fish and then BAM capture its dinner. It can even imitate crabs and shrimp.


The Mimic Octopus has also been spotted imitating:

  • Sole Fish
  • Lion Fish
  • Sea Snakes

All of these are poisonous giving the mimic octopus their same appearance of protection.


Around 60 cm in length, the mimic octopus typically starts off brown and white before he gets shifty. Footage has been captured of these guys shifting states as they make their way across the ocean floor. Divers beware as this one just may just arise and scare you!

Called “the quick change artist of the sea” he is an artist indeed.  Predators seem astonished as they hone in on this octopus only to be surprised by a quick disguise.

So much of the ocean floor is undiscovered. It is fun to think how many more amazing creatures like this are out there, that we don’t even know about!