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September 16, 2016 5:14 PM   Subscribe

The mimic octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus) is an Indo-Pacific species of octopus capable of impersonating other local species…The mimic octopus is the only currently known marine animal to be able to mimic such a wide variety of animals. Many animals can imitate a different species to avoid or intimidate predators, but the mimic octopus is the only one that can imitate as diverse a range of forms in order to elude predators.

California Academy of Sciences explanatory video. Unnarrated footage. Adorable mating. More vigorous mating. And a fight.
posted by Johnny Wallflower (22 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
oh god. a mefi post about mimic octopuses.

they're on to me. they've figured it out.

oh god.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 5:16 PM on September 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


Thaumoctopus mimicus

Are we sure this isn't from the Fiend Folio or something?
posted by XMLicious at 5:38 PM on September 16, 2016 [8 favorites]




Mimic octopus win "The Coolest Creature On Earth" award hands down (their closest completion were sloths but the mating videos just weren't as "gripping").
posted by WalkerWestridge at 6:01 PM on September 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Salve, Gaius Didius Octopus.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:06 PM on September 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


If a bunch of these have banded together to mimic humans and infiltrate the highest levels of our governments, would 2016 be more weird, or less weird?
posted by indubitable at 6:10 PM on September 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


Octopuses are just so great. So great.
posted by smartyboots at 6:11 PM on September 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


> If a bunch of these have banded together to mimic humans and infiltrate the highest levels of our governments, would 2016 be more weird, or less weird?

yes. if.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:35 PM on September 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm really sad they only live 3-5 years with a single mating... I may be forced to fictionalize them into longer living, social animals...
posted by Deoridhe at 6:52 PM on September 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


If a bunch of these have banded together to mimic humans and infiltrate the highest levels of our governments, would 2016 be more weird, or less weird?

Less weird, and far, far more hopeful...
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 7:04 PM on September 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Academy of Sciences video only talk about external features of the octopus that it needs to be able to mimic things. BUT it doesn't address the big question. How does the octopus know what the other creatures look like in order to mimic them? How does it match body morphology between itself and others? Or is it just an evolutionary fluke that it looks like other species that it happens to share the water with? Enquiring minds want to know.
posted by njohnson23 at 7:50 PM on September 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Obligatory Oglaf link (most stuff there NSFW.)
posted by Slinga at 8:15 PM on September 16, 2016


There are currently 4 senators, 16 congressional representatives and at least 1 presidential candidate that are believed by the California Academy of Sciences to be mimic octopuses.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:33 PM on September 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


That Wikipedia article was, in fact, written by a mimic octopus who was pretending to be a different mimic octopus while doing so.

Mimic octopus bibliography is an arcane and frustrating field.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:58 AM on September 17, 2016 [9 favorites]


That's because it sometimes looks like mimic octopus historiography or mimic octopus biography.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:49 AM on September 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


...written by a mimic octopus...

Doctor Thaumoctopus Mimicus
posted by Segundus at 5:47 AM on September 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm really sad they only live 3-5 years with a single mating... I may be forced to fictionalize them into longer living, social animals...

The upside is that if they lived longer they certainly would have figured out a way to eat you and everyone you ever loved by now.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:49 AM on September 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


Those poor octopi! They're just trying to find a quiet place to make sweet sweet love, and this insensitive brute of a camera man keeps following them.
posted by monotreme at 10:26 AM on September 17, 2016


Are we sure this is real?
posted by asperity at 3:09 PM on September 17, 2016


Obligatory XKCD.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:19 PM on September 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is wonderful! Thank you so much! I just got back from a trip to see family and this was exactly what I needed.

That Wikipedia article was, in fact, written by a mimic octopus who was pretending to be a different mimic octopus while doing so.

I have seen this episode of Orphan Black.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 1:30 PM on September 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Somehow my brain parsed that as Black Mirror. Still works.
posted by quinndexter at 3:35 AM on September 19, 2016


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