Video: Octopus kills shark

What happens when you put an octopus and a shark in the same aquarium tank?


  1. Skeeved out. Flesh crawling to North Pole. Can’t sleep, octopus will crush me, can’t sleep, octopus will crush me…


      You see, Angstrom, Octopus is a Greek word. Octopodes.

      If it was a second declension Latin word, it’d be Octopi. However, it is a third declension masculine Greek word. So it would just be Octopuses.

      Yay!!! I got to grammar nazi!!

          1. I believe “nazi” was the verb and “grammar” was an adverb. Lots of different ways to nazi, you know?

      1. When using the subjunctive mood, the verb “to be” is “were” in the past tense: “If it were a second declension Latin word…”

        Let this stone fly unmolested from my grammatical glass house!

    2. @angsrtom5: english grammar mixes word origins with contrasting usage all the time. it’s english. it’s usage. it’s not greek or latin. move on with your life.

  2. Good god why would you inflict this on anyone? I’m sure I’ve seen the footage elsewhere without the awful narration. Seriously: it’s everything that’s wrong with American natural history film making. Argh. I’ll be in the angry dome.

    1. Angry dome? We have an angry dome? Why did nobody tell me abuot the ($*^%# angry dome?

  3. I live in Washington State, and Puget Sound has lots of both of these animals in it. It’s not like the octopus or its kinfolk had never seen a spiny dogfish before.

    Another surprising predation story: a friend of mine caught a scorpion a couple of years ago, and put a grasshopper in the jar to feed it. Note the vague use of the pronoun “it.” The next day all that was left of the scorpion was two tiny claws. She let the grasshopper go.

  4. I was going to post about the narration, too, but two others beat me to it.

    Oh, what the hell.

    Where’s the baritone guy with the quiet, monotone scholarly narration? Why’d they find some sports color commentary wannabe? Next time, I’m watching it without the sound.

  5. Hang on a second. This shark can grow to max of 2.5-3.3 feet, while this octopi can grow up to 7 feet. Where is teh contest?

  6. Makes Oprah’s bit on ‘Life’ look good, and she’s the reason I had top stop watching the series.

  7. Years ago a version of this video came out, and it was narrated in the traditional National Geographic manner. This dork sounds like he’s working for Nickelodeon talking about the next person to be slimed.

  8. Score one more commenter who just came here to slate the awful, infantile narration.

    How to ruin awesome natural history footage and reduce it to the level of USA’s Funniest Home Movies/You’ve Been Framed: pretend your audience are drooling idiots, or three years old.

    David Attenborough FTW!

  9. Wow. Nat Geo is really not what is used to be.

    Compared to this narration, Bob Saget on America’s Funniest Home Video was freakin’ Shakespeare.

    1. “Wow. Nat Geo is really not what is used to be.”

      I blame Discovery and the watered-down fate of all Science to reality show transitions.

  10. Don’t sharks start to drown when they stop moving? I imagine that simplified things for the octopus quite a bit. It just needed to hold on to the shark long enough for the shark to suffocate.

  11. You know what the worst thing is? The clip they use starting at 0:53 is re-used at 1:28 but mirrored L-R. They thought you’d be so busy whining about the cock-cheese narrator that you wouldn’t notice. Screw those clowns.

  12. I happened to watch this with the sound off and obviously hadn’t yet read the comments here. So thanks, now I am laughing and imagining Don Cherry as narrator. Must go back & view with sound!

  13. Hell, Don Cherry’s narration would have been better than this guy. At least “Rock Em’, Sock Em'” is appropriate for a fish fight. Instead, we get some wise-cracker who thinks he’s building suspense, but is really just making a farce of the situation and distracting us from what we came to see: an octopus killing a freaking shark!

  14. You know? When the octopus figures out which of the aquarium’s staff keeps putting sharks in the tank? There’s going to be … trouble.

  15. That narration is why I get tired of US nature shows.

    They need someone like David Attenborough to get the job done right.

  16. Without the dreadful narration you really notice the several, I think over 12, recyclings of clips, with the most common trick being to reverse the left/right aspect. One of the clips was recycled I think 4 times. Sheesh. Lazy friggin’ film-makers.

    By-the-by, anyone know about the scale here? How big are those beasties?

    And where’s Mike Nelson in all this?

  17. Personally, I thought the narration was excellent. It’s interesting, not boring, that the supposed underdog won, and our preconceptions were killed like the shark.

    These are animals, and the octopus was probably having a really good time surviving.

    there’s the vocal minority of imbeciles who run around condemning anything they think is rude, even when that stuff is just normal personality. They ruin everything. They are why programming has to be dumbed down and boring.

  18. Annoying narration, yes. But it might have been from one of their kids’ programs. Why kids need that sort of narration, I don’t know, but that may be why.

    Also, that Octopus was freaking awesome.

  19. In a class, I once dissected a spiny dogfish that was about 2.5 feet long. I don’t think they get much bigger than a few feet.

    Also, once while walking along railroad tracks by Puget Sound, we saw an octopus and it came up to play with us. I think fishermen had been feeding it, so it was probably actually begging, but it wrapped its tentacles around our wrists and let us pull it partway out of the water. Very cool.

    All this was long before I went to booming school. (OK, I promise I won’t do that again.)

  20. Wait, didn’t San Jose just eliminate Detroit from the playoffs?
    What video is next, a BlackHawk vs a Shark?

  21. Just you wait ’til sharks develop tentacles, then we’ve got some cephalopod payback!

  22. came here to comment on the shockingly dumb narration but it’s already been covered.

    Give me David Attenborough any day!

  23. If that was Attenborough the camera would start with his head and shoulders and waving arms, pan back further and further to reveal that he’s *in* the tank with both the octopus and the shark, he’d pause, the camera would pan down and the octopus would do his deed. All the while David would continue to narrate fending off the occasional tentacle.


  24. I was interested in the color change, but the color commentator didn’t mention it.

    Just before the octopus grabbed the shark, it looked like it was really pale. I assume it was matching its surroundings, and, indeed, the shark seemed to pass right over it without noticing it was there. (Poor sense of smell for a dogfish.)

    Then, as it was grabbing, it turned bright orange. What was the purpose of this? Did it just stop actively changing its color, and so turned back to its natural color? Or was it an emotional response or something?

  25. Sounds like the narrator is from “sunday Morning”
    He narrated a piece on birdwatching, than this, that piece on the yearly whistle competition.

    I think he has a handle Bar mustache.

  26. I LOVED that narrator, an amusing and memorable change from the typical super-serious presenter type.

    The one thing I thought was missing from this video was how long it took for the shark to die, and what the shark’s actual cause of death was.

    1. AFAIK, shark (like most/all fish) have to keep moving in order to extract oxygen from the water around them. No movin’, no breathin’. Poor thing.

  27. Someone asked about scale. Giant Pacific octo it ain’t.

    As mentioned above dogfish are small. Max 3 feet usually smaller.

  28. Any way we can pass our undying hatred of the narrator on to NatGeo so he never works again?

  29. Looks like the hunter…

    ::puts on sunglasses::

    … just got hunted.


  30. I love Octopus. They are awesome.

    Also, yes, the narration? I demand an Attenborough chaser!

  31. There’s always a bigger fish…or, non-fish in this case. A Cephalosomethingorotherthatisscaryandmakesmecrymyselftosleep

  32. Blaine,
    Sorry to bust your bubble, but “octopi” is, according to the following reference, not the proper (to my surprise) or even Greek plural (so was that stuff about the third declension total BS?):

    1758, genus name of a type of eight-armed cephalopod mollusks, from Gk. oktopous “eight-footed,” from okto “eight” (see eight) + pous “foot.” 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.
    Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

  33. This video came about as a result of dead dog fish turning up in one of the large tanks in the Seattle aquarium a number of years ago. Apparently it took a few weeks and a long night watching the tank to figure out that an octopus, and not another aggressive dog fish, was causing the deaths. I have seen and fed 50+ lb octopuses at the aquarium on a regular basis as a volunteer, and I’ve seen much bigger octopuses while diving in the puget sound area. They are amazing creatures, beautiful, and clearly quite powerful as well.

    3 hearted creature, with copper based blood, color changing skin, that can squeeze its body through any size opening so long as its beak fits though…and we’re searching the heavens for aliens :D

  34. I remember hearing about this back when it first happened, though I didn’t get to see the video footage until now.

    Man, I love octopi. Their primary purpose in life seems to be surprising the hell out of biologists.

  35. What the … this narrator should be summarily tossed. There is just no place for this idiocy. Also, is that a NatGeo logo on this utter garbage? Christ, how the mighty have fallen. What a bleedin’ shame.

  36. This video inspired the most fantastic full sleeve tattoo, proudly worn by a good friend of mine.

  37. Bring back the Rod Serling school of narration! His work on the Jaqcues Cousteau documentaries is the golden standard, and rightly so.

    Oh, and making the plural of “octopus” be “octopi”? If enough people do it, then that becomes the new rule. An allowed exception. Get over it, that’s how language works.

  38. 1) find shark carcases in the tank
    2) keep adding sharks untill you witness one dissapear
    3) ???
    4) profit!

  39. That was interesting, but that Dog fish is a far cry from even a small reef shark. We used to catch those tiny gaffers in the northern waters. I’d rather tangle with it than the octopus any day. I’d wager a sea sponge might even defeat this little feller…I’ve personally had bigger bowel movements…too much info????

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