Octopuses continue their long tradition of freaking out human beings—now they're using tools, excavating buried coconut halves (discarded by humans), tucking them under their... undersides, and "stilt-walking" them away to use as shelter.

Watch a BBC video of the behavior here.


One of the researchers, Dr Julian Finn from Australia's Museum Victoria, told BBC News: "I almost drowned laughing when I saw this the first time."

... Dr Norman said: "I think it is amazing that those arms of pure muscle get turned into rigid rods so that they can run along a bit like a high-speed spider.

Further upping the octo-ante, my little sister—a neurobiology grad student who stays up on the latest animal-testing controversies and standards—tells me:

... octopodes are considered "honorary vertebrates" in the UK, meaning they must be treated like vertebrates when writing up protocols and stuff (protocols dealing with vertebrates are more stringent about animal welfare).

They escape from their aquariums, they grab birds from the land and into tidal pools, they solve puzzles, they recognize human faces, they occasionally attack divers, and now they build little houses for themselves.

Maybe the Haida were right all along: Octopuses are the people of the sea.