With full-on camouflage, eight tentacles with powerful suckers, perfect timing and dark ink, the octopus is the one of the ocean’s most skillful hunters. But there’s another reason why you don’t mess around with this eight-legged mollusc—it will eat itself before going hungry.
The largest octopus on record was about the size of a bus. The Giant Pacific Octopus meanwhile can grow as large as 16 feet across, which is larger than your average car. Imagine if you are a fish just swimming along in what appears to be harmless seabed when suddenly, you are pulled down by powerful suckers. As if that isn’t enough, an octopus bite is actually venomous.
Going back to fact that it would rather eat its own arm if it gets really hungry—that’s understandable when you put its very strong survival instinct into context. But then again, it’s accepted fact that it will eat its own young. Cannibalism is not entirely unheard of in the animal world. Male lions also eat young cubs to thin the herd and to prevent future challengers to their alpha status.
The female mantis also eats its mate after sex. This predatory behavior has also been documented in the species when a female octopus was seen strangling a male after mating. That’s not even the gory part. Do you want a hint? Spoiler alert: mate just became dinner.
In fact, if there’s anger management class in the ocean, the octopus would be the first in line because it will also eat one of its tentacles when it’s angry or irritated. To be fair, octopi have the reputation for being gentle creatures, although, their prey and mates would disagree with that premise.
Fortunately for the octopus, it possesses the ability to regenerate its appendage, which is a good luxury to have when you think about it. The octopus can pull out its arm or eat it when straits are dire. If this gift is given to humans, you never will go hungry again, that is if you can stomach eating your own arm.
However, there’s saving grace to this article. For all its killer instinct and anger management issues, the octopus actually makes the ultimate sacrifice for the future of the species. A male octopus will eventually die weeks after mating. It sucks to be male, right?
Actually, no. Male octopi can count themselves lucky—apart from the fact they don’t pay child support—females will follow them to the grave not long after.
Females only live long enough to tend to all the eggs—all thousands or ten thousands of them. They must’ve died of exhaustion (and to think people complain about rearing their kids). One documented case involved a female octopus tending to its young for over four years.