Roger Hanlon was following this octopus underwater and couldn't believe his eyes.
The ghost octopus can match the color and texture of its surroundings in fractions of a second by changing the size and shape of dynamic spots of pigments on their skin called chromatophores.
Chromatophores allow an octopus to blend in with all manner of underwater backdrops.
Some combination of these expandable chromatophores and reflectors underneath them allows an octopus to blend in with vegetation, rocks, or smooth surfaces almost imperceptibly. Hanlon has been studying these animals for years, and is still in awe of their camouflaging stunts. “The amazing thing is that these animals are color blind yet they are capable of creating color-match patterns,” Hanlon told Science Friday, “But we don’t know how.”
So, when science can’t tell us how something works, all we can do is be amazed. Watch the video again and revel in how awesome this tricky octopus is. It won’t get any more obvious, we promise.
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald