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New Zealand’s Inky The Octopus Slips Out Of Aquarium

First Posted: Apr 14, 2016 11:37 AM EDT
Inky The Octopus
In New Zealand, an octopus slips out of aquarium tank, crawls across floor, escapes down pipe to the sea.
(Photo : Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

The dexterous contortionist Inky, which is about the size of a soccer ball, seems to have stealthily crossed the floor after busting through an enclosure, slithered through a tight 6" in diameter drain hole and quickly escaped into the Pacific.

Rob Yarrall, the aquarium's manager, told Radio New Zealand that Inky was able to squeeze his football-sized body in the drain hole since he is very malleable. "He managed to make his way to one of the drain holes that go back to the ocean. And off he went," Yarrall said as cited on The Washington Post. "And he didn't even leave us a message," he added.

In the world of marine biology, hardly the escape of Inky comes a surprise. Octopuses are in fact well-known for their intelligence, dexterity and strength.

An aquarist at England's Marine Biological Association, Alix Harvey noted that octopuses have efficiently shown themselves to be entirely adept at making an escape through small spaces. They are constrained only by their beaks, which are the only inflexible part of their bodies.

According to Ms. Harvey, there are documentations involving octopuses opening jars as well as sneaking through tiny holes on boats. These critters can evade their predators by spraying an ink which lingers in the water temporarily and serves as a decoy. Some octopuses were documented to have hauled coconut shells to build their underwater shelters.

Ms. Harvey believed that octopuses are fantastic creatures and amazing escape artists. Because they have a natural inclination to stealthily move around their environment at sundown, Octopuses are naturally designed to forage during nighttime. "They have a complex brain, have excellent eyesight, and research suggests they have an ability to learn and form mental maps," she further said as cited on The New York Times.

Since 2014, Inky had resided at the New Zealand aquarium when he was taken in after being caught in a crayfish pot. His name was notably chosen from different nominations submitted to a contest run by the Napier City Council.

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