Imagine falling in love with an octopus. That happened to filmmaker Craig Foster, who lives in South Africa.
Foster was feeling tired from working too much so he went for a swim in the ocean near his home. While diving underwater he saw an unusual sight, a pile of seashells. When he got closer, an octopus shot out from under the shells. Foster was curious.
So he returned to the small bay day after day, looking for the octopus and eventually following it every day for a year. The result is the movie “My Octopus Teacher,” which you can see on Netflix. He also wrote a book, “Sea Change,” if you want more information.
Octopuses are amazing creatures. They have eight arms that extend from a body that is rounded like a light bulb. Each arm has more than 2,200 suction cups. In addition to helping them grab things, the suction cups are used to taste and smell. If an octopus loses one if its arms, it can be grown back.
The octopus can change its skin color as it moves across the bottom of the sea. They do this using special cells in their skin, called chromatophores. Each cell contains a tiny sac, like a balloon, filled with color so that they can blend in with their background.
Octopuses have been living on Earth in some form for 296 million years, so they’ve had plenty of time to develop all of these unusual features. Even though they have been around for a long time, individual octopuses don’t live very long. Most only survive about two years, except for the giant Pacific octopus, which lives three to five years. There are about 300 different species of octopus in the world’s oceans.
Check out the movie “My Octopus Teacher” and you may fall in love with the squishy, unusual main character, too. Even if you don't, you will see an amazing underwater world.
— Brett French, firstname.lastname@example.org