Rare Sighting Of Dashing, Two-Legged Hairy Sprinting Crab?

In Latin it's called Thaumoctopus mimicus, but I'd call it The Master. It's Meryl Streep in octopus form. There are ocean animals that can change shape, imitate plants, rocks, flora, and I've blogged about some of them. But this octopus is special. It seems to study other creatures and then imitate them, copying their moves and their bodies. It can do sea snakes, lion fish, flatfish, giant crabs, seashells, stingrays, jellyfish and weird beings that have no name, and maybe no earthly existence. Is it imagining? I don't know, but no scientist has ever seen a shaggy sprinting bipedal crab — until our octopus decided to be one.

The mimic octopus lives in bays off Indonesia and Malaysia. It was discovered by some fishermen very recently, in 1998. I'm not sure how they recognized it when it can change any time it likes, but here it is, in this video, showing off ...




Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from