An octopus in Papua New Guinea gives a scuba diver a stunningly close look as he shifts colour and texture. Octopus are highly intelligent creatures with complex brains that allow them to do some amazing things. Seemingly made of liquid, they are able to change their shape to fit into small holes and crevices. They are also able to change their appearance at will to blend in with their surroundings.
This ability to change allows them to evade detection by predators. It is the ultimate camouflage technique, making them almost impossible to see. It is also a very effective hunting technique, allowing them to smoothly creep up on unsuspecting fish and crustaceans. The colour change also serves as a method of communication between octopus that we are only now beginning to understand.
This scuba diver in Papua New Guinea waited patiently for this male octopus to emerge from his lair. As he did so, the octopus was as fascinated by the diver as the diver was by him. He slowly made his way to a nearby female octopus and the two mated. Sadly, this romantic act is one of the last that the octopus will undertake. Soon after mating, the male will undergo metabolic changes that make it impossible for him to digest food, He will die within a few weeks. The female will also stop eating and she will live only long enough to care for her eggs and see them hatch. Without her efforts to keep the eggs clean and aerated, the young would not survive.
Nature is a complex thing, and often it is as harsh and unforgiving as it is beautiful.