This video of a baby octopus hatching will leave you mesmerised
If you’ve ever wondered what the birth of an octopus looks like, then wonder no more. Thanks to a video posted by the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, you can watch the rare event in full – and if you blink, you’ll miss it.
To start with, not very much happens at all, and all you can see is a collection of eggs that loosely resemble a white flower. Four of these petal-like eggs already appear to have hatched, while six remain occupied.
Then, half way through the ten-second clip, a tiny baby octopus quickly wriggles free from its egg, spontaneously changing colour from white to brown.
“Octopuses have chromatophores which allow them to camouflage themselves against their background. Likely, the stress of the hatch caused the immediate color change,” the aquarium told a curious Twitter user who asked about this phenomenon. “After they settled down, they began working on using those chromatophores to blend in.”
The octopus in question, the Caribbean reef octopus, is smaller than some other species and grows to only 60cm long.
“It is common for octopuses to lay over one hundred eggs in its clutch to ensure at least one makes it to adulthood”, the video caption explains. “Thankfully, these little critters are going to receive the best possible chance from our incredible animal care team.”
The aquarium also explained on Twitter that the flower-like collection of eggs depicted in the video is just one small “sub-strand” of one octopus’ clutch.
At the time of writing, the Facebook video has 2.6m views, while the one posted to Twitter has amassed 1.7m (and almost 15,000 retweets), so you should never underestimate the potential for of cute animal videos to go viral. Just don’t blame us if calamari doesn’t taste the same again.