Video of Woman Getting a ‘Hug’ From a Friendly Wild Octopus Goes Viral

Here's something that you have to see to believe! Catherine is an amateur wildlife photographer in Canada. She had an amazing experience recently that she recorded as it happened and then shared on Instagram on Friday, April 12th. She appeared to be sitting on rocks and had her feet in the ocean when a friendly octopus came up to say hello!

In the video, we see a Giant Pacific Octopus with his tentacles wrapped around her feet. He lets Catherine touch him as he feels her legs with his arms. After a few moments he lets go and swims back out into the ocean waters. It is incredible to see!

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How crazy was this? I would have been afraid that he was going to pull me in, but Catherine just enjoyed the interaction. The video quickly went viral, and has more than 21.6 million views, more than 650 thousand likes, and over 8 thousand comments. @alt492022 asked, "Oh my this looks dangerous. He is so big. How did this start?" Catherine responded, "I saw him 6 months ago when he surrounded me while I was standing on a small wobbly rock. Then on March 5 while I was videographing sea slugs he charged me and wrapped his tentacles around my leg very aggressively. Now he just gently moves in for a hug or head pat. It’s very cute! I feel we’ve become friends now."

Related: Octopus 'Hugs and Kisses' Diver in Extremely Rare Footage

More About Giant Pacific Octopus

Another commenter asked how many encounters she'd had with the octopus, and she replied, "Maybe 10?" @bancoubear said what I was thinking, "Kind of scary… it could literally just pull her down in the water." @Umbryella replied, "They’re strong but not strong enough to drag her all the way down against her own might. Plus it would never behave that way, they’re not aggressive creatures, they’re incredibly intelligent and curious."

I wondered if she was right and headed to American Oceans to find out more about the cool color changing animal. "The Giant Pacific Octopus is not generally regarded as a dangerous octopus, unlike its counterpart the Blue-Ringed Octopus."

These are the biggest octopuses in the world, with an average length of 16 feet, but they can reach up to 30 feet! They weigh in at 110 pounds and could easily attack a human if they chose to. Fortunately, they are known to be shy and usually friendly towards us, but they could do some damage. "The suckers (“suction cups”) on the arms can become dangerous if they lock onto a human as they are very difficult to remove." But that's not the only way they could hurt a human, "The bite of the Giant Pacific Octopus will not only hurt, but it will also inject venom into its target (although this venom is not fatal)."

The octopuses that have had negative interactions with humans and inflicted injuries usually have done so to defend themselves. If you leave them alone, they'll leave you alone. Unless you're lucky enough to befriend one like Catherine!

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