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The Changing Colors Of A Dreaming Octopus Reveal A Story: A Marine Biologist’s Humorous Take



changing colors of a sleeping octopus

We tend to hold our dreams close to our heart. But this octopus doesn’t shy away from showing her dreams’ colors to us. Or so it seems. A documentary has captured the intriguing video of an octopus changing colors as she nods off in her enclosure. This colorful clip is part of a documentary from PBS, Octopus: Making Contact and reveals an octopus switching colors rapidly even as she sleeps lying upside down. Marine Biologist, Dr. David Scheel has given the clip a humorous voice-over as he attempts to interpret the changing colors of a dreaming octopus.

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Dr. Scheel loves to believe that the dream of the octopus is accurately reflected in its changing hues. He believes that it is a thrilling moment. He paints a story around the changing canvas. He thinks that the octopus has probably seen a crab and is going after it as her color changes from a pearly white tinge to an intensely darker shade. Then there is a dramatic change to a deep dark shade as she seems to suddenly take off from the ocean floor in her dreams.

The octopus turns all dark when she suddenly leaves the “ocean floor” and Dr. Scheel’s interpretation reflects the behavior of an octopus in real life. The colors change back to a more benign one as she seems to have finally subdued the crab in her dreams. Her speckled patterns seem to indicate that she wants to enjoy her meal without anyone noticing.

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Dr. Scheel feels that rapidly changing patterns and colors in sleep are quite unusual for a sleeping octopus. It appears to indicate that she is living a dream. It is the first time that the marine biologist has witnessed the interesting behavior of the changing colors of a dreaming octopus.

Octopus and squid are part of a family of mollusks called cephalopods, but only the octopus appears to possess the ability to dream. Thanks to this clip we are fortunate to witness this singular experience of the changing colors of a dreaming octopus.

Featured image: Nature on PBS

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