Let’s face it. We’ve all thought about knocking over a casino at one time or another. One big score before retiring to a sunny island somewhere. And as you daydream of the crack team of specialists you’d need to pull off this endeavor, you should definitely consider adding an octopus to the team.
While lack of backbone is a liability for any human thief — both figuratively and literally — it’s actually an advantage for an octopus. In fact, having no hard parts at all other than their beaks and, in some species, a tiny remnant of their tough inner mantle, allows them to crawl through barriers that would be absolutely impossible for a human to surmount. Just have a look at the octopus squeezing itself through a one-inch-wide hole, or this octopus finding the quickest way back to the sea from a ship’s deck. Nothing can squeeze quite like an octopus.
Even if an octopus manages to get into a tight spot, they’ll probably be able to work their way out. Octopuses are some of the smartest creatures on the planet. The cephalopods are capable of working out solutions to let them get past barriers to the objects they desire. More than that, they are undoubtedly the greatest escape artists that evolution has ever produced. Have a look at what this octopus does when screwed into a jar:
Harry Houdini has nothing on the octopus. Aquarists confirm this is true. Octopuses are very curious about their environments and will sometimes take a little break from their tanks, where their keepers would rather them stay, to satisfy their wanderlust. In the wild, some octopuses even specialize in taking little overland trips from tidepool to tidepool, giving them the important skill of being able to spend a little time out of the water.
Last but not least, octopuses have sticky fingers. Or arms. Their rows of suckers are the key to their dexterity, and, as one diver can attest, some octopuses aren’t above kleptomania. So when you’re considering pulling an Ocean’s 11-style caper, make sure you recruit someone who’s actually from the ocean.