Nature is Freaking Awesome: The Blanket Octopus

Image by Marcello Conticelli

Don’t be fooled by the comforting sound of “Blanket Octopus”—this caped cephalopod is a blanket_octopusfreaky femme fatal.

She grows anywhere from 3.3 to 6.5 feet with two extra long front tentacles. These long limbs enable her to unfurl her webbed cape when scared by predators. As a last resort, she is able to detach her cape or ‘blanket’ and let it float free to distract pursuers.

When I say ‘last resort’ I really do mean it because this warrior princess is immune to the string of the Portuguese man-o-war jelly fish, but she’ll rip the tentacles right off that thing and use them as a whip. (Yup! You heard right!)

Female blanket octopuses are 10,000 times bigger than their suitors as the males are no bigger than a walnut. During mating, the male blanket octopus pulls off his penis which is filled with sperm and gives it to the female who may or may not use it to fertilize her eggs. He dies soon afterwards.

The Blanket Octopus proves once again that nature is awesome!

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Nikki is an author and writer specializing in green living ideas and tips, adventure travel, upcycling, and all things eco-friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives in a tiny town with a fat cat and a very bad dog.

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