When a female Blanket Octopus is threatened, it unfurls the beautiful scarf-like webbing between its arms, making the animal appear large, intimidating and creepy to potential predators.

Blanket octopus   © Creepy Animals

Blanket Octopuses are found throughout the world’s tropical and sub-tropical oceans, from the surface to moderate depths. This unusual species is pelagic, living life out in the open ocean with no need for coasts or the sea floor.

Also unusual for an octopus species is its defence mechanisms. It does not possess the ability to eject ink to disturb predators nor is it able to camouflage by blending in the direct environment. On the contrary it rather sticks out of the underwater environment with its red spectacular blanket.
Additionally, this clever animal is immune to the stings of the Portuguese Man O’ War or also called Bluebottle Jellyfish. It is known that young individuals rip off a few of the Jellyfishes tentacles and wield them like whips.
Only the females outgrow this phase and actually develop into the 1-2 metre long animal that has the blanket tucked away in its two longest arms. The males stay a few centimetres long for the rest of their lives.

Like other cephalopods, the male Blanket Octopus has a special arm modified for reproduction. It stores sperm and is offered up to the female. It actually detaches from the rest of the male’s body and crawls up into her mantle. Afterwards, the male octopus dies immediately.
The female can now produce some 100,000 eggs which she stores in a calcareous packet that she carries around with her until they hatch.

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