Octopuses, those remarkably intelligent creatures that have often intrigued scientists to the point of considering them extraterrestrial, have recently surprised us once again. In a truly astonishing feat, they have constructed entire cities off the eastern coast of Australia.
These octopus cities are not only impressive in their creation but also in the way they challenge our understanding of these cephalopods. Traditionally, octopuses were believed to be solitary beings, and jests about their encounters often revolved around whether they would mate or devour each other upon meeting.
However, this groundbreaking discovery has unveiled a previously unknown side of octopuses. It turns out that not only are they capable of constructing their own urban havens but they also exhibit a propensity for grouping together in the depths of the ocean. The team of researchers responsible for this revelation explains that the octopuses utilized rock formations and piles of shells to establish their charming cities.
Utilizing the shell piles, known as middens, the octopuses skillfully shaped their cities. According to the researchers, the seafloor’s unique features and rock formations played a vital role in facilitating the creation of these remarkable octopus metropolises. The initial site, known as Octopolis, was first documented in 2009 in Jervis Bay—a region situated along the eastern coast of Australia. This significant finding was published in a scientific paper during the same year.
Octopolis was teeming with life, with a minimum of 16 different species observed actively engaging with the location. In close proximity, another site named Octlantis was later discovered, featuring a total of 13 occupied octopus dens, along with ten unoccupied ones at the time.
Equipped with GoPro cameras, the researchers descended into the depths to capture footage of these mesmerizing octopus cities. Over the course of a single day, they recorded approximately 10 hours of footage, purely observing the interactions among the city’s inhabitants. This discovery adds to the captivating allure of the enigmatic marine world, reminding us of how limited our understanding of the ocean’s wildlife truly is.