From escaping captivity to targeting people with jets of water, octopuses are nothing if not crafty
It’s no secret that cephalopods are clever. With large brains (especially for creatures without backbones), octopuses are able to solve problems, learn from their encounters and even experience sleep and play. These have all been tested in laboratories across the globe, with octopuses obliging by navigating mazes, solving puzzles to gain access to food and using their elaborate arms to mischievously play with items in their tanks. One octopus even flooded the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium by tampering with a valve in her tank. There are also anecdotes of octopuses sneaking out of their tanks at night to feed on other aquarium residents.
This is all possible due in part to their eight dexterous appendages that contain the majority of their neurons, allowing them to work independently without input from the brain. With 500 million neurons present, this places octopuses close to the realm of dogs, although the amount of neurons isn’t necessarily an indicator of intelligence.
Like dogs, however, those who have spent time with octopuses will attest to their various different personalities and how some octopuses in aquariums will squirt water at specific employees when they approach, testament to their powers of recognition.