You can lock a man up, but you can’t lock up his desire to be free. Same thing goes for an octopus.
Everything about this very real story sounds totally made up, which is what makes it so amazing. An octopus pulled off a real-life, Finding Nemo/Shawshank Redemption- inspired escape from a New Zealand aquarium by sneaking out of his tank and down a drain into the ocean.
Inky the Octopus reportedly wiggled out of his aquatic home at the National Aquarium of New Zealand through a small opening at the top of his tank, slithered eight feet across the floor (he didn’t bother to cover up his tracks, leaving behind a trail that alerted the aquarium’s keepers to what happened to him), and went down a drainpipe that, 164 feet later, brought him to freedom in Hawke’s Bay.
This daring escape apparently happened a couple of months ago, but the news is just getting out now. While no rock hammer whittled down to a nub was found at the tank, Inky did leave behind at least one witness, another octopus named Blotchy, who either lacks the courage to make a break for it or enjoys life in the tank and the ease of eating lunch there.
The New York Times talked with some octopus experts who said they aren’t surprised by this eight-legged run for freedom, as Cephalopodas are able to get through very small spaces. Plus, octopuses are known to be intelligent and “fantastic escape artists.”
Somewhere off the coasts of New Zealand we imagine Inky is sitting in the sun, working on restoring that old boat, hoping one day his friend Blotchy will come find him. Because hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, whether you’re a person or an octopus.
Where does this rank in your favorite animal stories? Tell us below.
Images: National Aquarium of New Zealand