Ancient MeFi Octopus Post Update January 30, 2008 3:46 PM   Subscribe

Back in 2003, I posted a link to a video that showed an octopus transforming itself to look like its surroundings. If you read the thread, there was some doubt about it and I think we all wished that web video was better at the time. Well, a friend posted a link to a TED talk recently that shows this same octopus at a much higher resolution.

I would have updated the original thread, but, well, it was 2003.
posted by stefnet to MetaFilter-Related at 3:46 PM (36 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

And I forgot to add that the specific clip comes in right near the end of the talk.
posted by stefnet at 3:48 PM on January 30, 2008

Wow. I think this is different enough from the original, and cool enough, that you could post it on the front page (with a link to your original fpp) and not a soul would call you out. I wouldn't - this is fascinating, and the quality of the footage is great. I love the TED talks, and cephalopods, so I'm very happy you posted anywhere. Wonderful.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:02 PM on January 30, 2008

Oh, I'm sure someone would call it out. Most likely someone laden with the sting of a recent double deletion. I'd bet on it, but I'm broke as a joke.
posted by BeerFilter at 4:08 PM on January 30, 2008

This is such an awesome planet.
posted by tula at 4:13 PM on January 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

This is awesome, share it!
posted by Demogorgon at 4:15 PM on January 30, 2008

Those are some pretty nice pants you've got there, BF. I think we can accept them as collateral.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:15 PM on January 30, 2008

That is just absolutely amazing..

The octopus at the end is better than any Hollywood efx.
posted by salvomix at 4:16 PM on January 30, 2008

I LOVE the talk and video. Its awesomeness is dimmed only by the shadow of comments like this:

"Evolution is NOT a given. In fact there is very little evidence of Evolution and an overwhelming amount of evidence of Creation. If you have even a cusory understanding of biology or astronomy you would understand the impossibility of Evolution."

posted by misha at 4:17 PM on January 30, 2008

That's just about the most amazing thing I've ever seen. Just fabulous. Thanks.
posted by OmieWise at 4:18 PM on January 30, 2008

Haven't listened to the talk yet, but I watched the relevent video bits: WOW. Unfuckingbelievably awesome.

Nature rules!
posted by rtha at 4:19 PM on January 30, 2008

That's worth a double post.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:20 PM on January 30, 2008

Also it makes me want to reread the Rifter books by Peter Watts, which are all this and bio-engineered humans living down there.
posted by OmieWise at 4:22 PM on January 30, 2008

i <3 hi-dephalopods.
posted by heeeraldo at 4:35 PM on January 30, 2008 [2 favorites]

This is an amazing talk.
posted by scrump at 4:39 PM on January 30, 2008

OmieWise, oddly enough, Peter Watts linked to this video in his blog a few days ago.

And -- yes, it's awesome. Post the damn thing already.
posted by maudlin at 4:48 PM on January 30, 2008

Ooooooooo. I wasn't here in 2003, so I missed this wonderful example of awesome in video format. Thanks!

On the flip side, I'm pretty sure the chicken-eating spider photo is staged, but I missed the thread entirely while it was open.
posted by Tehanu at 4:48 PM on January 30, 2008

What a crazy video, I also thought it was SFX when I initially saw it.
posted by theiconoclast31 at 4:54 PM on January 30, 2008

That was so fucking cool. I love this planet, just wish we could do something about all the people on it.
posted by purephase at 5:50 PM on January 30, 2008

Metafilter: matching pattern, color, brightness, texture of the algae.

Seriously, this is amazing.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:23 PM on January 30, 2008

Ok ok! Posted to the blue. Cephalopods for everyone!
posted by stefnet at 6:31 PM on January 30, 2008

*flings cephalopods about the room with great glee*
posted by maudlin at 6:34 PM on January 30, 2008

awesome video, concur.

/prepares MeTa post complaining about double-posting.
posted by Phred182 at 6:43 PM on January 30, 2008

posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:55 PM on January 30, 2008

This is the most awesome thing I've seen in ages. Amazing x 101283487918328479135.

Thank you for posting this! I am now going to impress the pants out of my housemate...
posted by numinous at 7:05 PM on January 30, 2008

Heh, just watched that video the other day. I've been on kind of a TED tear recently.
posted by danb at 7:26 PM on January 30, 2008

louche mustachio, I need these pants, else the flags fall like rain.
posted by BeerFilter at 7:41 PM on January 30, 2008

impress the pants out of

This, this I like.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:09 PM on January 30, 2008

Wonderful! THIS is the way in which the Internet will truly enrich the lives of my children. Not to mention mine.
posted by davejay at 10:07 PM on January 30, 2008


You think that's cool, well they've also learned to climb trees
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:32 AM on January 31, 2008

Octupi have got it all going on. I'm quite sure that they are going to rule the earth someday.
posted by amro at 7:43 AM on January 31, 2008

I like to think that it got it's scientific name, Octopus Vulgarus, by surprising researchers;

"Jesus tap-dancing Christ! Did you see that fucking thing? What the hell was that? I was just next to this coral and all of a sudden this thing leapt at my god damned face! It looked like a cross between a squid and the fucking devil! It's never been seen before? We get to name it? I say we call it the fucking-jump-out-and-scare-the-living-shit-out-of-people-octopus."

This was simply too long, and not Latin enough, so they changed it.
posted by quin at 7:54 AM on January 31, 2008 [4 favorites]

Seriously cool. I had no idea the things could mimic texture as well as color. I'll think twice about ever ordering tako again at the sushi bar... :-/
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 10:27 AM on January 31, 2008

I'm quite sure that they are going to rule the earth someday.

I can't cite the source, but a few years ago I was struck by a marine biologist-type saying that if octopi didn't have such short life-spans (3 years, give or take) or die after spawning, they'd be the dominant underwater creature.
posted by fijiwriter at 11:56 AM on January 31, 2008

Really? Because my grandfather always says that if a frog had wings it wouldn't bump it's ass a'hoppin'.
posted by OmieWise at 12:03 PM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

Fijiwriter, I don't think its that simple. I seem to recall an explanation that the lack of spine causes a great deal of "disorganization" which prevents them from being the geniuses we expect them to be. Essentially, us vertebrates have a brain that can tell our hand "do this" and it does. Cephlapods have arms that do whatever the hell they want with a loose connection to the brain.

I wish I remember where I saw this, it was a much better explanation than what I'm saying here. The point being the way they're built is likely keeping all mankind safe. Fear the genetically engineered octo with a spine.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 3:53 PM on January 31, 2008

Freakin rad, thanks for pointing it out. Just blew my afternoon on more TED talks, which is always a good thing.

Re: Octopi. I was at the Monterey Bay aquarium last year with a family friend that happens to be a docent there. She took us on the most fabulous tour of it ever (I've been many times but never learned so many hidden gems).

They have a couple of Octopus tanks there and a few mollusks or something were disappearing from one of them so they move Mr. O into another tank. Except, at night, the stuff keeps disappearing. They finally had one of the employees stay the night right next to the tanks. Sure enough, he sees Mr. O climb out of the tank, crawl across the floor, and drop into the old tank for more late night snackage.

Now they have grates on the top of the Octopus tanks there.
posted by allkindsoftime at 6:25 AM on February 3, 2008

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