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November 9, 2022

Giant Octopus Embraces Diver

Long story short: Three weeks ago on a cloudy morning, master diver Andrea Humphreys and a group of friends slipped into the waters of the Salish Sea, off the eastern coast of Vancouver Island.

From today's Guardian article:

Humphreys said that she occasionally spots them [octopuses] sheltering in their dens, but this time, within moments of immersion, the group made the rare sighting of an octopus out in the open.

It quickly approached her friend, grazing its tentacles up against the mask and regulator.

Humphreys started photographing the encounter — until the octopus turned its attention to her.

Her camera captured the curious cephalopod drawing closer and closer, its tentacles widening until it fully embraced her (top).

"It was just crawling on my camera, crawling on my lips, giving me a hug. These huge tentacles were up over my face and mask," Humphreys said. "Every time I backed away from it, the octopus just kept coming towards me. And it was just so amazing and inspiring."

For the next 40 minutes, the octopus stayed close by, inspecting her dive equipment and taking a particular interest in her camera. "It kept changing the lights on my camera system and fiddling with it," she said.

Throughout the encounter, the octopus maintained its deep red color, never taking on the greyish tone of a fearful or aggressive cephalopod.

Elated by her encounter, Humphreys posted the video online for friends and family. Within days, it had received tens of thousands of views. On a recent trip to the grocery store, she was stopped in the aisle after someone spotted "the octopus lady."

She suspects that part of the video's popularity was due to the glimpse it provided of a fleetingly intimate and unlikely connection with a creature that often seems alien.

November 9, 2022 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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