Octopus Facts: Color Changing Octopus May Be Dreaming, Scientists Say

Today in octopus facts: unless it’s a scary dream or a nightmare, dreaming is one of the coolest things about being human. However, we can’t compete with a color changing octopus.

Yes, you read that right. An octopus changes colors when it’s asleep and scientists believe the intense color changes have to do with the beautiful and unusual mollusk dreaming.

What do octopus eat facts
tpsdave via Pixabay

Octopus Facts: A Color Changing Octopus Is Probably Dreaming

Dreaming isn’t owned by human beings. Anyone who has ever known a dog knows that dogs sometimes “chase rabbits” in their sleep, as evidenced by their quiet little yips when they’re snoozing.

In a voiceover of the video below, you can hear Professor of Marine Biology David Scheel explaining what’s going on. He says that this may be the first video footage of a sleeping octopus changing color in such quick succession.

“I witnessed something I’ve never seen recorded before,” says Scheel.

Scheel continues, adding that you can almost just narrate the body changes and narrate the dream.

Octopus facts color changing octopus is sleeping and dreaming
Steve Jurvetson

Octopus Facts: What Does an Octopus Dream About?

Dr. Scheel said one of the more interesting octopus facts is that an octopus typically changes color when they’re hunting or for protection.

Because of this, Dr. Scheel believes that this octopus may be dreaming of her next hunt. In other words, she is probably dreaming about her next meal, likely a crab, which is a favorite octopus food.

Hey, I dream of chocolate, so yeah, I get it!

The Video

Check out the clip below from a PBS Nature episode of an octopus named “Heidi.” This footage was captured by a marine biologist and shows a female octopus rapidly changing colors. She goes from a pale white to a dark, deep violate shade before going into full-blown camouflage patterns.

Dr. Scheel explains that when she goes camouflage, it’s like she’s just subdued a crab and she wants privacy while she sits and eats it. Hence, octopus facts suggest that she’s camouflaging herself in the hopes that no one will see her and bug her (or steal her food).

Not only do Heidi’s colors change, but her patterns change, too. Very few animals change colors, which makes this one of the most fascinating octopus facts. Watch the video below.

Featured image for Octopus Facts: Color Changing Octopus, Steve Jurvetson via Flickr

Tiffany Willis Clark is a fifth-generation Texan and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Best Stuff Online, AmReading.com, and a few other websites. In 2011, she made the decision to pursue her dreams and become a full-time writer. Tiff is obsessed with finding the most interesting, coolest stuff online and sharing it with the world. Connect with her on LinkedIn, follow her on Twitter, and like her Facebook page.