Animals Video

By David Aspinall


A shy octopus buried itself underneath the seabed to hide from an explorer’s light.

Chris Merullo was clambering by the rock pools in Port Hughes, South Australia, when he spotted the long tentacles of a southern sand octopus.

Following its path using a torch, Chris saw the orange cephalopod gliding above the sand on July 12.

Thinking Chris was a predator, the octopus swiftly burrows into the grains, covering itself more and more with sand until its almost completely invisible.

Chris said: “It’s rare to see one in such shallow water, most videos you see of this species have been taken by divers underwater.

“The Southern sand octopus buries itself in sand to hide from predators because it doesn’t have the ability to camouflage, unlike other octopuses who have colour changing chromatophores.

“They use its siphon to inject water into the sand, making it less dense, almost like quicksand, which enables the octopus to burrow down fast.

“It covers the entire body except two of its arms which create a ventilation shaft by extending to the surface.”