We’ve seen numerous videos of cephalopods making their great escape like they’re in some sort of magic show. They’re known to be stealthy in opening jars as well as escaping their tanks. But this time, Inky the octopus of the National Aquarium of New Zealand has found freedom by slipping into a pipe—smart move!
Apparently, after Inky’s tank was cleaned, it was left ajar. The staff at the aquarium believed that while the aquarium was empty of people, Inky was able to discover that he can easily slide out of his tank and make his way across the floor. The cunning octopus even discovered that there was a drain just 10 feet away from him. Not only that, but the drain is 164 feet of pipe that directly goes to the waters of Hawke’s Bay on the east coast of New Zealand. Now, that’s a very smart octopus!
Rob Yarrell, the national manager of the aquarium claims that octopuses are famous escape artists. “But Inky really tested the waters here. I don’t think he was unhappy with us, or lonely, as octopus are solitary creatures. But he is such a curious boy," Yarrell said. “He would want to know what’s happening on the outside. That’s just his personality.”
Scientists have observed and filmed lots of these gelatinous creatures walking over rocks and slipping through tiny holes. If you combine an octopus’ cerebral capacity with their agility, the result is a very curious and cunning animal. These creatures are even considered one of the world’s most intelligent invertebrate. In fact, according to certain measures, they’re as smart as a golden retriever. According to the Island Bay marine education center in Wellington, an octopus was even found to be sneaking into another tank to steal crabs. Then afterward, returning to its own as nothing happened. There was another incident in an aquarium in Germany wherein an octopus figured out that shooting water at an overhead spotlight causes humans below to scramble around like crazy. As a result, he did it again, and again, and again! Definitely one of the smartest and mischievous animals out there.
“When we came in the next morning and his tank was empty, I was really surprised,” said Yarrell. “The staff and I have been pretty sad. But then, this is Inky, and he’s always been a bit of a surprise octopus.”
Inky has always been deemed unique. Rob Yarell calls him as an “unusually intelligent” octopus and was one of the most popular attractions there. The cephalopod was seen to be very friendly and inquisitive too.
Inky first came to the aquarium when a fisherman who had caught him in a crayfish pot and delivered him to the center. While they’re not actively looking for Inky’s replacement—and probably hoping that he’d still return, they would gladly accept and take in any octopus if someone delivers another.
We humans would forever be in awe at the magnificence of these very smart creatures. It's best to keep in mind that in taking care of nature, we are also giving these creatures a home to thrive in. Who knows, Inky may have lots of stories to tell his octopus friends!