By Jack Williams
This intelligent octopus realised he needed a helping hand with a recent hunting mission, turning to the literal hand of a human to reach his target.
The clever octopus – who diver Elora Kooistra has named Egbert – soon noticed he couldn’t reach a series of shells beneath a log without some additional help.
Heading toward Elora, whose arm was outstretch, Egbert then guided the diver to the log, encouraging her to give the debris a nudge.
Doing so allowed nimble Egbert to then squeeze underneath the log, and in doing so, as the fascinating footage shows, the mollusk was able to pick off a shell before shooting off into the deep.
Elora filmed the footage while working as a dive instructor off a resort on Long Caye in Glover’s Reef, Belize, between March and June this year.
During that time the diver and Egbert built up a strong relationship, with Elora always respecting the octopus’ natural habitat.
Elora, who is originally from Holland, said: “I used to visit Egbert every day to see if he was home.
“Usually he was inside his shell and came out when I came close.
“Sometimes I give him a little snack and other times I just sit there and offered him my hand to see if he grabs him.
“At some point he got so comfortable around me that he would swim up to my hand or feet and grab them and try to pull me along.
“I like it best when he is out hunting and I can just watch him do his normal octopus thing.
“It was the most amazing thing when he pulled me towards this log that he was trying to push up, grabbing my hand to help.
“I always stay a distance and offer my hand, but I would never grab onto him or pick up his shell.
“All the contact I made, it was always Egbert who touched me, not the other way around, as that could intimidate him and might scare him away.
“I could never build up this relation without patience and the time it took.
“I am scared that when people see my videos they will all want a pet octopus.
“Octopuses don’t belong in an aquarium – if you want to see an octopus you have to put on a mask and go snorkeling or diving and watch them in their natural environment.”