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An Octopus’ Coconut Home


This octopus has devised an ingenious way to create a moveable shelter by assembling two halves of a coconut shell.


- [Narrator] Our understanding of octopus intelligence took another leap forward, when in Indonesia, in 2009, researchers reported a veined octopus doing something truly remarkable.

It was discovery that would put our understanding of the octopus onto a new level of sentience occupied by only a few species of animals.

Living on the sandflats, they have very few places to hide.

But this octopus has a unique solution to the problem.

(upbeat music) It carries half a coconut shell with it.

(upbeat music) But it needs to find something else to complete the set.

Two coconut halves, a perfect shelter.

(upbeat music) What is remarkable about this discovery, is how the octopus dismantles its home.

(upbeat music) Carries it around, (upbeat music) uses it to hide and to ambush prey.

And now it's putting it back together again.

This octopus is thinking ahead.

This is real flexibility.

The octopus has to anticipate to carry that awkward objects around, and then correctly assemble the separate parts to create a single functioning tool.

And less than 1 % of all animals have ever been seen to use tools.

(bright upbeat music)


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