Rarely-Seen Giant Pacific Octopus Filmed Swimming Through Oregon Tidepool

A rarely-seen giant Pacific octopus has been filmed swimming through an Oregon tidepool.

Luke Smith, an employee at the Bureau of Land Management, captured footage of the huge animal swimming slowly in the Yaquina Head pools, to the north of Newport.

This species of octopus is only spotted in the local area a few times a year, the U.S. Department of the Interior said in a Facebook post. They are likely lurking in the waters more often than that, but the species is elusive.

In the video, the bright red octopus can be seen moving slowly through the waters. It uses its many legs to guide itself through the narrow waterway, briefly exposing its head from the water while doing so.

At the end of the video, the creature can be seen settling itself on a rock and changing its color to disguise itself.

Octupus in Oregon
A photo shows the giant Pacific octopus that was swimming in tidepools in Oregon. Luke Smith / Bureau of Land Management

Octopuses are known for being able to adapt to their surrounding environment. The species' normal color is red or reddish brown, as seen at the video's start. But they can change their colors and textures within seconds, to either yellow, brown, white, red or even a variety of speckled colors.

The giant Pacific octopus is the biggest octopus species in the world. Although it may seem large, the octopus in the video is actually relatively small for the species. Giant Pacific octopuses grow to an average of 16 feet long.

Fully grown, the creature can weigh more than 50 pounds. The biggest giant Pacific octopus ever spotted was 200 pounds and measured 20 feet.

The species can be found in all areas of the Pacific Ocean, from the waters around Asia to Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. The species is adaptable and can be spotted in shallow waters, such as these tidepools, or waters as deep as 4,900 feet.

A tidepool, such as the one shown in the video, is a shallow pool of water formed near the shore. The octopus in the video may have been hunting for prey in the shallow waters.

It is not certain how many giant Pacific octopuses are in the world. They are under threat from high pollution levels and commercial fisheries.

Octopuses are known for being extremely intelligent. Scientists have observed the animals displaying a range of complex behaviors in the past.

In November, a group of wild octopuses were caught throwing shells and other objects. A study into the behavior believed this was targeted aggression, perhaps in a bid to mark their territory.

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