Octopus jealously guards his Mr Potato Head toy

A six-foot Giant Pacific octopus at Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay, Cornwall loves his Mr Potato Head toy and "turns aggressive" when anyone tries to take it away from him.
200801110935 'He's fascinated by it,' said Matt Slater, of the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay, Cornwall. 'He attacks the net we use to fish the toy out every time we try to take it away.'

Mr Slater added: 'Octopuses are very intelligent and they like to be stimulated and busy.'

Link (Via Spluch)


  1. The article mentions that the octopus has figured out how to open the little door in the back to get food out of Mr. Potato Head’s butt. So it appears that:

    1. Aquarium staff packed a toy with crab meat.
    2. They gave said toy to an octopus.
    3. They acted all surprised when it didn’t want to give the toy back.

    I’m often impressed by the intelligence of octopi, but this story isn’t really that indicative of their playfulness as it is of their appetite. It’s more like a dog with a bone than a monkey with a doll.

  2. i love these guys. they can demonstrate a pretty high level of problem solving, and they develop relationships with handlers. they know which ones they like and which they don’t

    like a slimy squishy dog.

    Give em a few million years and they might be the next intelligent life forms on the planet. Underwater environment gives them leeway to increase brain size, and unlike dolphins they’ve got the hardware to start using tools and changing their environment.

  3. Someday people will finally realize that other species are much more intelligent than we give them credit for. Octopi, for instance. There are other kinds of intelligence than what humans typically test for!
    Then again, perhaps we’ll have killed off most of the species on the planet before we realize it. Yeah, humans are real smart!

  4. Octupi have also been known to open screw top jars for food.
    I keep one on my cuboard to open the peanut butter jar.

  5. They really are smart you know, divers in Puget Sound will attest to that since some will actually interact with them as long time acquaintances.

    I feel sorry for those I killed and ate personally, but it was free diving and a relatively fair fight.

  6. Mr Slater added: ‘Octopuses are very intelligent and they like to be stimulated and busy.’

    Am I the only one who thought of tentacle porn when I read that?

    …yes, apparently.

    Moving along.

  7. Shouldn’t someone that works at an aquarium know the proper word for the plural of octopus?

    Or, is that just me?

  8. “Octopi” is common enough to be acceptable now, but it isn’t “proper” in any sense except that people use it a lot under the mistaken assumption that it’s derived from Latin, which is where it’s appropriate to form a plural by changing -us to -i. From the Online Etymology Dictionary, “Proper plural is octopodes, though octopuses probably works better in English. Octopi is from mistaken assumption that -us is the L. noun ending that takes -i in plural.”


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