Watch: Giant Pacific Octopus Takes Tentacle Selfie With GoPro

The Vancouver Aquarium recently put a new giant Pacific octopus on display in an exhibit dedicated to species found off the coast of western Canada. To celebrate, the aquarium gave the octopus, named Mystique, a video camera to film herself and her surroundings.

The result is an intimate look at the life of an octopus that can weigh as much as 200 pounds. Giant Pacific octopuses are considered highly intelligent and very dexterous with their tentacles.

Mystique took the limelight at the aquarium's display on March 16, after staff members released their previous giant Pacific octopus into the ocean. That octopus had spent about a year on display at the aquarium, until staff realized she was displaying behavior typical of octopuses looking for a mate and also producing eggs.

"We knew she was fully grown, and seeing eggs in her mantle confirmed that it was her time to reproduce," Vancouver Aquarium biologist Ruby Banwait said in a press release. "Now, with this next step, she is back in the ocean where she can find a mate, lay eggs and contribute to our local giant Pacific octopus population."

That released octopus may actually be on the hunt for multiple mates, since genetic analysis of eggs has suggested that between two and four males fertilize any given batch, which can include tens or even hundreds of thousands of eggs. Giant Pacific octopuses usually live between three and five years, and females only reproduce once.

A giant Pacific octopus at an aquarium in 2012. Kurt Desplenter/AFP/Getty Images

Some data suggests the octopuses may see mixed impacts of increasing urbanization on land. The species sometimes ends up accidentally caught in fishing gear along with the animals a fisherman intends to catch.

And while the octopuses don't appear to change their eating habits when humans are nearby, they may actually be able to make use of all the trash humans throw into the ocean, turning it into nesting material.