An octopus, in need of sunscreen

Floating just below the surface of the water near Italy's Mt. Vesuvius, an octopus suns its head lump in this National Geographic Picture of the Day.

Thanks Maggie Fitzgibbon!


  1. Imposing human weakness on animals. Come on he doesn’t need sunscreen. He’s going to live about two years. He’s never going to get skin cancer. Let him sun himself and not worry about sunscreen.

    1. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of articles and videos showing how amazing octupus/octopuses/octopi are and it kind of bums me out that they only live 6-24 months. Apart from their amazing camouflage, ability to squeeze through tight spaces, shoot ink, shoot a water jet, and inject venom; they are incredibly smart AND they are reasonably capable OUTSIDE of water!

      It makes me wonder if their brains’ potential could develop further if they had longer lifespans. (I obviously don’t have a clue if this makes any sense from a scientific stand point).

  2. The mantle “lump” isn’t the “head” of the octopus. It contains the guts, heart, and gonads.  The head’s the part between the tentacles and the mantle.

    1. And how still the surface is.  Almost the way it would look if an aquarium tank had a large photo of the Italian coastline pasted to its back wall, and a photo was taken through the glass from in front.

  3. Holy perspective Batman. Am I the only one who thought that was a giant octopus masquerading as an island to lure unlucky boaters?

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