No alien invented by a science fiction author is so startlingly strange as the octopus, says Sy Montgomery. Here is a being that even if weighing 100 lbs and more than eight feet long can still squeeze its boneless body through an opening the size of an orange.
This is a creature who can taste and feel through any of the thousands of suckers along its eight arms. An alien with a beak like a parrot and venom like a snake. Its tongue is covered with teeth, it can shape-shift with the best of them and go through colour changes to put any camouflaged ET to shame, and it can squirt clouds of black ink like an action hero depositing oil on the road behind to escape the baddies.
But most intriguing of all are the hints that this oceanic alien has great intelligence.
Here’s a fairly old video clip showing an octopus looking and behaving like a peacock flounder fish. Camouflage and swimming mimicry.