The Surprising World of Elephants, Cats, and Octopuses: Everything You Need to Know About Animals (Full Episode) – Documentary

The Surprising World of Elephants, Cats, and Octopuses: Everything You Need to Know About Animals (Full Episode) – Documentary

Elephants, Cats & Octopuses (Full Episode) | Everything You Didn't Know About Animals

The video “Elephants, Cats & Octopuses (Full Episode) | Everything You Didn’t Know About Animals” provides an in-depth look at the fascinating world of animals. The first segment focuses on elephants, showcasing their incredible hearing abilities and unique physical adaptations that help them survive in the wild. Viewers will learn about the seismic sensitivity in their feet that allows them to communicate over long distances and even detect approaching storms. The video also delves into the remarkable cooling mechanism in their ears, which helps them regulate their body temperature in extreme heat.

Moving on to cats, the episode explores the mysterious purring sounds they make and how it may have potential benefits for astronauts in space. The video discusses the octopus as well, shedding light on their ancient existence and uncanny ability to possibly predict the future. With insightful interviews and stunning visuals, “Everything You Didn’t Know About Animals” offers a captivating and educational look at the animal kingdom, uncovering lesser-known facts and behaviors that will leave viewers in awe.

Watch the video by Nat Geo WILD

Video Transcript

NARRATOR: THE ELEPHANT. THEIR EARS CAN BE OVER 1/6 THE SIZE OF THEIR ENTIRE BODY. BUT YOU’RE ABOUT TO FIND OUT HOW THEY CAN HEAR WITH THEIR FEET. LAWRENCE: THEY’RE JUST SORT OF MIND BLOWING. NARRATOR: PLUS, CATS! THEY’RE THE MOST POPULAR PET IN AMERICA. BUT THEIR PURRS MAY HELP KEEP ASTRONAUTS ALIVE IN SPACE.

NATALIA: CATS IN SPACE! NARRATOR: AND THE OCTOPUS. IT’S BEEN ON THE PLANET FOR OVER 90 MILLION YEARS. BUT CAN THIS CREATURE FROM THE PAST ACTUALLY PREDICT THE FUTURE? ROGER: IF YOU PUT A HUMAN IN AN OCTOPUS ENVIRONMENT, IT WOULDN’T SURVIVE EVEN A DAY PROBABLY. NARRATOR: THIS IS WHERE SAVAGE MEETS SCIENCE…

AND WILD BECOMES “WOW.” THIS IS, “EVERYTHING YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT ANIMALS.” IT’S HEART ALONE WEIGHS MORE THAN A FIVE YEAR OLD CHILD. IF IT WERE STANDING IN NEW YORK… IT COULD HEAR A RAINSTORM IN PHILLY. JUST FOUR HOURS MOVING IN THE HOT SUN COULD KILL IT…

IF NOT FOR A SECRET IN ITS EARS. IT’S STRONG ENOUGH TO PUSH A TWO TON TRUCK… AND SMART ENOUGH TO PAINT A PICTURE… IT IS THE ELEPHANT. SOUTH AFRICA. A BABY ELEPHANT HAS FALLEN INTO A WATERING HOLE. TRAGEDY COULD BE CLOSE AT HAND. BUT LOOK CAREFULLY…

SUDDENLY, THE COMMUNITY OF ELEPHANTS RUSHES TO THE RESCUE; IT’S NOW A GROUP EFFORT TO GET THIS BABY TO SAFETY, BUT HOW? CAITLIN: YOU DON’T SEE THEM SIGNALING. THEY JUST KNOW. THEY JUST GET IN THERE, GET DOWN ON THEIR KNEES, PULL THE BABY OUT. ELEPHANTS ARE JUST AMAZING.

NARRATOR: NOT ONLY ARE THEY AMAZING BUT THEY’RE ALSO SMART… THEY HAVE BEEN OBSERVED DOING ADDITION WITH OVER 90% ACCURACY AND KEEP TRACK OF MORE THAN 30 FAMILY MEMBERS AT ONCE. IN FACT, IN A LOT OF WAYS, ELEPHANT’S SEEM MORE ADVANCED THAN US… STARTING WITH THE LARGEST BRAIN OF ANY LAND MAMMAL ALIVE…

IT’S UP TO 10 POUNDS HEAVIER THAN OUR OWN. BUT IT’S WHAT’S INSIDE THAT COUNTS. AN ELEPHANT’S TEMPORAL LOBES TAKE UP 45% OF THEIR ENTIRE BRAIN COMPARED TO OUR 20%. THAT’S WHAT GIVES THEM THEIR FAMOUS MEMORIES. BUT THAT BIGGER TEMPORAL LOBE ALSO HELPS THE ELEPHANT PROCESS SOUNDS…

AND WHEN IT COMES TO HEARING, THEY HAVE ABILITIES THAT WALK ALL OVER OURS. BECAUSE THEY CAN ACTUALLY HEAR WITH THEIR FEET! HERE’S HOW IT WORKS: ELEPHANTS SOMETIMES COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER OVER LONG DISTANCES BY STOMPING, OR SENDING LOW FREQUENCY RUMBLES THROUGH THE GROUND. THESE SEISMIC WAVES THEN TRAVEL THROUGH THE EARTH AND

GET PICKED UP BY VIBRATION SENSITIVE CELLS IN AN ELEPHANT’S FEET CALLED “PACINIAN CORPSUCLES.” THEN, THOSE CELLS SEND A NERVE IMPULSE STRAIGHT TO THE BRAIN. CAITLIN: SO YOU’RE NOT ACTUALLY HEARING THROUGH YOUR EAR. YOU’RE HEARING DIRECTLY TO THE BRAIN THROUGH THESE NERVE IMPULSES COMING FROM THESE VIBRA-TACTILE CELLS.

NARRATOR: IN ADDITION TO HELPING THE ELEPHANT KEEP TRACK OF FAR-FLUNG FAMILY MEMBERS… THIS SEISMIC SENSITIVITY MAY AID IN THE ELEPHANT’S SEARCH FOR LIFE SUSTAINING WATER. ONE STUDY ANALYZED DATA FROM GPS TRACKING DEVICES OF FOURTEEN DIFFERENT HERDS OVER SEVEN YEARS. THEIR FINDINGS SUGGEST THAT ELEPHANTS CAN TELL WHEN A

STORM IS APPROACHING EVEN IF IT’S 150 MILES AWAY! CAITLIN: WE THINK THEY’RE DETECTING THUNDER IN THE GROUND. NARRATOR: YOUR LOCAL WEATHERMAN COULD LEARN A THING OR TWO. AND THAT MAY NOT BE SO FAR-FETCHED. HUMANS HAVE THE SAME VIBRATION SENSITIVE CELLS AS ELEPHANTS

IN OUR OWN HANDS AND FEET AND HIGH-TECH HEARING AIDS ARE NOW BEING DEVELOPED THAT UTILIZE THEM IN THE SAME WAY THE ELEPHANT DOES. OF COURSE ELEPHANTS ALSO USE THEIR FEET IN THE MORE TRADITIONAL WAY. AN AVERAGE AFRICAN ELEPHANT CAN COVER 50 MILES A DAY. THAT’S OVER 18,000 MILES A YEAR…

ROUGHLY SIX AND A HALF TIMES THE DISTANCE FROM NEW YORK TO CALIFORNIA. IF YOU WERE TO RUN THAT MUCH IN A YEAR, YOU’D GO THROUGH UP TO 60 PAIRS OF SHOES… IF YOUR LEGS DIDN’T GIVE OUT FIRST. BUT ELEPHANTS HAVE AN EXTRA SUPPORT SYSTEM BUILT RIGHT INTO THEIR FEET.

LAWRENCE: THEY ACTUALLY WALK ON THE TIPS OF THEIR TOES. BUT THEY SORT OF HAVE THIS FAT FILLED HEEL THAT ACTUALLY SUPPORTS THEIR WEIGHT. NARRATOR: AND INSIDE THAT FAT PAD? IT’S THE ELEPHANT’S OWN STILLETO HEEL… A BACKWARD FACING SIXTH TOE THAT HELPS KEEP THE ELEPHANT

FROM KEELING OVER DURING LONG TREKS FOR WATER AND FOOD! THIS EXTRA “TOE” FORMS AS A SMALL ROD OF CARTILAGE THAT GROWS LONGER AND STRONGER. AS THE ELEPHANT AGES, THE DIGIT EVENTUALLY TRANSFORMS INTO BONE. IT’S LIKE A KICKSTAND BUILT RIGHT INTO THE FOOT. AND WHO COULDN’T USE ONE OF THOSE?

DISNEY DID A PRETTY GOOD JOB OF MAKING ELEPHANT EARS FLY BUT EVEN IN REAL LIFE, THEY’RE PRETTY AMAZING. IN FACT, THEY DO A LOT MORE FOR THE ELEPHANT THAN OUR EARS DO FOR US. THEY MAY EVEN HELP KEEP THEM ALIVE. WHERE SOME ELEPHANTS LIVE, TEMPERATURES CAN REACH A SCORCHING HOT 122 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.

BECAUSE OF THIS FIERY ENVIRONMENT, ELEPHANTS LIVE IN CONSTANT DANGER OF OVERHEATING. JUST FOUR HOURS OF MOVING IN THE HOT SUN IS ENOUGH TO DO AN ELEPHANT IN. YOU MAY THINK THEY BEAT THE HEAT BY ROLLING AROUND IN THE MUD. BUT THAT’S ONLY PART OF THE STORY.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, ONE OF THEIR MOST IMPORTANT MECHANISMS FOR CHILLING OUT… IS INSIDE THE EARS. HERE’S HOW IT WORKS: THE SKIN ON AN ELEPHANT’S EAR IS VERY THIN… JUST ONE TO TWO MILLIMETERS. BARELY THICKER THAN A PENNY. LOOK EVEN CLOSER AND YOU’LL SEE AN INTRICATE NETWORK OF

BLOOD VESSELS JUST BELOW THE SURFACE. WHEN AN ELEPHANT FLAPS ITS EARS, AIR FLOWS OVER THESE VESSELS, COOLING THE BLOOD WITHIN. THEN, LIKE FREON IN AN AIR CONDITIONER, THE COOLED BLOOD MOVES THROUGH THE REST OF ITS CIRCULATORY SYSTEM. THAT REDUCES ITS CORE TEMPERATURE BY AS MUCH AS 10 DEGREES.

YOU MIGHT EVEN CALL THEM EARS “EAR CONDITIONERS.” USING THEIR EARS, AN ELEPHANT CAN COOL ALL THE BLOOD IN THEIR BODY IN JUST TWENTY MINUTES. THE ELEPHANT IS THE ONLY MAMMAL, BESIDES HUMANS, THAT HAS A CHIN. ITS FOOTPATHS ARE SO MASSIVE; SATELLITES CAN SEE THEM FROM SPACE.

IT IS THE LARGEST ANIMAL ON LAND AND YET, IF YOU WANTED TO CATCH A GLIMPSE OF ANCIENT ELEPHANTS, YOUR BEST BET MIGHT’VE BEEN BY BOAT. CAITLIN: ELEPHANTS HAVE AN AQUATIC ANCESTRY AND WHEN YOU SEE AN ELEPHANT IN WATER, IT SEEMS OBVIOUS.

THEY CAN SWIM IN IT, THEY CAN USE THEIR TRUNK AS A SNORKEL AND THEY SWIM ACROSS THE RIVER COMPLETELY SUBMERGED. AND THEY’RE VERY GOOD SWIMMERS. NARRATOR: THEY MIGHT EVEN SHARE A COMMON ANCESTOR WITH THE ENTIRELY AQUATIC MANATEE AND DUGONG. BUT IT’S COME A LONG WAY SINCE SWIMMING THE RIVERS OF THE

PAST AND AS WE’VE SEEN, IT’S EVOLVED INTO A CREATURE THAT IN SOME WAYS MAY BE MORE ADVANCED THAN US. BUT THERE IS ONE THING THAT TERRIFIES THIS COMPLICATED GIANT AND IT’S EVEN SMALLER THAN A BASKETBALL. IS IT: A, A SKITTERING FIELD MOUSE? B, A THORNY BRANCH? OR C, A BUZZING BEE?

PLUS, FIND OUT WHY ROBOTICS ENGINEERS ARE DROOLING OVER THE ELEPHANT’S TRUNK! NARRATOR: THE ELEPHANT, AN ANIMAL AS ODD AS IT IS EPIC BUT AS IMPRESSIVE AS THEY ARE, THERE IS ONE THING THAT TERRIFIES THE ELEPHANT AND IT’S EVEN SMALLER THAN A BASKETBALL. IS IT: A, A SKITTERING FIELD MOUSE? B, A THORNY BRANCH?

OR C, A BUZZING BEE? THE CORRECT ANSWER IS “C,” THE BEE. AS GIANT AS THEY ARE, THE ELEPHANT HAS NO DEFENSES AGAINST TINY BEES GETTING INSIDE THEIR SENSATIVE TRUNKS AND STINGING. AND WITH THEIR MASSIVE MEMORIES, THAT’S A STING THEY NEVER FORGET. ELEPHANTS ARE SO SCARED OF GETTING STUNG,

FARMERS IN AFRICA ACTUALLY USE FENCES MADE OF BEE HIVES TO KEEP THE BEHEMOTHS FROM DESTROYING THEIR CROPS. SO THAT’S ONE WAY WE HAVE A LEG UP ON DUMBO BUT THE ELEPHANT ISN’T STOPPING YET. AND WHEN IT COMES TO SHOWING US UP, NO PART OF THE ELEPHANT DOES A BETTER JOB…

THAN A TRUNK WHICH SMELLS AT LEAST 5,000 TIMES BETTER THAN A HUMAN’S NOSE. SCIENTISTS HAVE RECENTLY DISCOVERED THAT THE ELEPHANT HAS MORE SMELLING GENES IN ITS TRUNK THAN ANY OTHER CREATURE WE KNOW OF. IT’S SENSE OF SMELL IS EVEN FIVE TIMES GREATER THAN A

BLOODHOUND AND IT CAN DETECT THE SMELL OF WATER FROM UP TO TWELVE MILES AWAY. OF COURSE, THE TRUNK IS SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST A SNIFFER. IT CAN TRUMPET 8 TIMES LOUDER THAN A SUBWAY TRAIN… IT CAN VACUUM UP ENOUGH WATER IN ONE SHOT TO HYDRATE A MAN FOR THREE DAYS…

AND LIFT OVER 600 POUNDS… THAT’S MORE THAN THE WEIGHT OF A FULL GROWN TIGER! BUT HOW CAN ONE ORGAN GENERATE SO MUCH MORE POWER AND VERSATILITY THAN US HUMANS CAN EVEN DREAM OF? LET’S TAKE A CLOSER LOOK. BENEATH THAT ONE INCH THICK, PACHYDERM SKIN -THERE ARE OVER 100,000 SEPARATE MUSCLE GROUPS…

BUT ZERO BONES. WHICH MAKES THE TRUNK EXTREMELY FLEXIBLE. IN HUMANS, MUSCLES CAN ONLY CONTRACT AS FAR AS THE BONES ALLOW. BUT ELEPHANTS CAN PRETTY MUCH BEND THEIR TRUNKS IN ANY DIRECTION. LAWRENCE: THAT IS SOMETHING THAT WE SCIENTISTS CALL A MUSCULAR HYDROSTAT. AND WHAT WE MEAN BY THAT IS THAT IT USES HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE.

NARRATOR: THESE BONELESS MUSCULAR HYDROSTATS APPEAR ELSEWHERE IN NATURE… FROM THE LOWLY WORM TO AN OCTOPUS’S ARM… BUT ONE OF THE BIGGEST AND THE STRONGEST BY FAR IS THE ELEPHANT’S TRUNK. BUT DON’T BE JEALOUS. YOU HAVE A MUSCULAR HYDROSTAT TOO… IT’S YOUR OWN TONGUE. RESEARCHERS ARE SO IMPRESSED WITH THE POWER AND FLEXIBILITY

OF ELEPHANT TRUNKS, THEY’RE DEVELOPING ROBOTIC ARMS BASED ON THEM. IN THE SAME WAY THERE ARE NO BONES IN AN ELEPHANT’S TRUNK, THERE ARE NO METAL RODS OR WIRES IN THIS ROBOT. IT USES AIR PRESSURE TO CHANGE ITS SHAPE, JUST LIKE THE ELEPHANT USES HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE. THIS OPENS UP A WORLD OF POSSIBILITIES,

INCLUDING MINIATURE FLEXIBLE ROBOTS THAT COULD GO INSIDE HUMAN BODIES FOR PRECISION SURGERY. SO THE NEXT TIME YOU FIND AN ELEPHANT TRUNK INSIDE YOU, IT MIGHT JUST BE TRYING TO SAVE YOUR LIFE. WE’VE SPENT A LOT OF TIME TALKING ABOUT ALL THE THINGS ELEPHANTS CAN DO THAT HUMANS CAN’T.

BUT MAYBE THE MOST IMPRESSIVE THING ABOUT THIS INTELLIGENT BEAST… IS HOW MUCH LIKE US THEY ARE. ON AN EMOTIONAL LEVEL, WE MAY BE CLOSER THAN YOU THINK. TODD: ELEPHANTS CAN DIFFERENTIATE UP TO A HUNDRED OR MORE DIFFERENT INDIVIDUALS JUST BASED ON THE SOUNDS THAT THEY MAKE AND THE SMELLS THAT THEY GIVE OFF.

NARRATOR: AN ANIMAL SANCTUARY IN TENNESSEE ACCEPTS A SPECIAL DELIVERY… A 51-YEAR-OLD ASIAN ELEPHANT NAMED SHIRLEY. BUT ANOTHER ELEPHANT, NAMED JENNY, IMMEDIATELY REACTS TO SHIRLEY’S ARRIVAL. THE TWO TRUMPET AND RUMBLE THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT. THEY EVEN BEND THE MASSIVE BARS TRYING TO REACH EACH OTHER. TODD: THE ELEPHANTS SHIRLEY AND JENNY,

THEY HAD WORKED TOGETHER EARLIER 23 YEARS AGO IN THE CIRCUS AND NOT EVEN FOR A VERY LONG PERIOD OF TIME. THEY WERE RE INTRODUCED TO EACH OTHER AND IT WAS LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY. THEY INSTANTLY KNEW WHO EACH OTHER WERE. NARRATOR: SO MAYBE IT REALLY IS TRUE THAT AN ELEPHANT NEVER FORGETS…

AND WE HAVE TROUBLE REMEMBERING TO CALL OUR MOMS. THEY’RE THE MOST POPULAR PET IN AMERICA. BUT DID WE CHOOSE THEM? OR DID THEY CHOOSE US? IS THAT MEOW A SIMPLE “HELLO?” OR A SECRET CALL DESIGNED TO TRICK OUR MINDS. CAN THEIR PURR ACTUALLY HELP SEND ASTRONAUTS DEEPER INTO

SPACE THAN THEY’VE EVER TRAVELLED BEFORE? AND IS IT TRUE THAT A PARASITE IN A CAT’S STOMACH CAN SEND A WOMAN’S SEX DRIVE THROUGH THE ROOF? MIESHELLE: WOMEN WHO HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO IT ARE SUPPOSED TO BE A LOT NICER AND EVEN PROMISCUOUS. [LAUGHS]. NARRATOR: THEY’VE SURVIVED FALLS AS HIGH AS THIRTY-TWO STORIES.

THEY CAN HEAR NOTES TWO OCTAVES HIGHER THAN YOU. AND ACCORDING TO AT LEAST ONE STUDY, 15% OF ALL INTERNET TRAFFIC IS CONNECTED TO THEIR ANTICS. THEY’RE QUIRKY… THEY’RE CRAFTY AND CONSIDERING ALMOST ONE IN THREE AMERICAN HOMES HAS ONE, THEY’RE PROBABLY SITTING ON YOUR LAP RIGHT NOW. THEY’RE HOUSE CATS…

ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST POPULAR PETS. BUT HOW EXACTLY DID THEY CLAW THEIR WAY TO THE TOP SPOT? MIKKEL: I THINK ONE OF THE REASONS WHY WE LOVE CATS SO MUCH IS THAT THEY ARE VERY ADAPTABLE. MARTY: YOU DON’T HAVE TO WALK THE CAT, YOU KNOW? YOU CAN PROVIDE EXERCISE, THINGS INSIDE.

YOU CAN LEAVE IT OVERNIGHT WITH SOME FOOD AND WATER. THERE ARE CERTAIN ADVANTAGES YOU JUST HAVE IN CATS. MIESHELLE: AND THEY’RE REALLY CUTE AND FUNNY, YOU KNOW? AS SIMPLE AS THAT MIGHT BE, IT’S TRUE. NARRATOR: SORRY, ROVER. SINCE WE DON’T HAVE TIME TO TELL YOU EVERYTHING ABOUT

CATS, WE’RE ABOUT TO UNCOVER EIGHT OF THE MOST INTERESTING FACTS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT OUR FELINE FRIENDS. STARTING WITH THIS: CATS HAVE A TENDENCY TO HUNT MICE. BUT THEY MAY ACTUALLY BE FORCING SOME BIRDS INTO EXTINCTION. A 2010 UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA STUDY REVEALED THAT CATS ARE

RESPONSIBLE FOR THE EXTINCTION OF AT LEAST THIRTY-THREE SPECIES OF BIRDS WORLDWIDE. MARTY: WELL THE AUDUBON SOCIETY HATES THE FACT THAT THEY’RE OUT THERE BECAUSE THEY ARE LETHAL KILLERS. NARRATOR: OUTDOOR CATS MAY EVEN BE KILLING UP TO 3.7 BILLION BIRDS IN THE UNITED STATES EVERY YEAR. THAT’S MORE THAN HALF THE HUMAN POPULATION OF

THE ENTIRE WORLD… EVERY YEAR! IT’S A KITTY APOCALYPSE! BUT WHILE THEY MIGHT SOMETIMES SEEM LIKE LITTLE TIGERS… CATS DO HAVE A SOFTER SIDE AND WHETHER THEY’RE HAIRLESS OR HAIRFUL, ALL SMALL BREEDS PURR. BUT WHY? MARTY: YOU ALWAYS ASSOCIATE PURRING, I THINK, WITH HAPPY AND CONTENT. AND SOMETIMES IT’S THE OPPOSITE.

YOU’LL SEE CATS PURR WHEN THEY’RE IN EXTREME PAIN. YOU’LL ALSO SEE CATS PURRING RIGHT BEFORE THEY DIE. NARRATOR: AS IT TURNS OUT, THAT PURR MAY BE MORE POWERFUL THAN ANYONE EVER REALIZED. THAT LEADS US TO OUR AMAZING CAT FACT NUMBER TWO: A CAT’S PURR MAY HAVE HEALING PROPERTIES.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS: WHEN CATS PURR, THEY DO SO AT A RATE OF 25 VIBRATIONS PER SECOND. MARTY: THAT 25 VIBRATIONS PER SECOND IS A VERY, UH, YOU KNOW, HEALING FREQUENCY. NARRATOR: IT’S TRUE. A RECENT UC DAVIS STUDY REVEALED THAT VIBRATIONS AT THAT RATE COULD IMPROVE BONE DENSITY AND PROMOTE HEALING IN

ANIMALS AND IN HUMANS. IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT, RESEARCHERS ARE EVEN LOOKING AT HOW THE CAT’S PURR MAY ONE DAY HELP SEND MEN TO MARS. NATALIA: ASTRONAUTS GENERALLY HAVE A PROBLEM WITH BONE DENSITY LOSS AND ATROPHY BECAUSE OF THE LONG PERIODS OF TIME IN A SMALL SPACE.

SO SOME SCIENTISTS THINK THAT IF YOU EXPOSE ASTRONAUTS TO THE SAME FREQUENCY AS A PURR, YOU CAN ACTUALLY IMPROVE BONE DENSITY AND DECREASE THE AMOUNT OF ATROPHY IN ASTRONAUTS. SO THIS TYPE OF TECHNOLOGY MIGHT ALLOW ASTRONAUTS TO TRAVEL DEEPER INTO SPACE. NARRATOR: THERE IS A SAYING THAT GOES “CATS WERE ONCE

WORSHIPPED AS GODS AND THEY’VE NEVER FORGOTTEN.” THE SENTIMENT IS SPOT ON BUT SO IS THE BACKSTORY. AND THAT’S OUR CAT FACT NUMBER THREE: CATS WERE ONCE WORSHIPPED LIKE GODS. IN FACT, 4,000 YEARS AGO, EGYPTIANS HELD CATS IN SUCH HIGH REGARD, THEY ACTUALLY MUMMIFIED THEM, ENSURING SAFE PASSAGE INTO THE AFTERLIFE.

KILLING A CAT IN EGYPT WAS EVEN CONSIDERED A CAPITOL OFFENSE, PUNISHABLE BY DEATH. BUT WHEN A CAT PASSED ON NATURALLY, ANCIENT EGYPTIANS HAD A STRANGE TRADITION AND IT GOES WAY BEYOND ANYTHING WE DO TODAY. DID THE PEOPLE: A, SHAVE THEIR OWN EYEBROWS… B, CARVE A FIGURINE, OR C, STAY AWAKE UNTIL SUNRISE?

PLUS, CAN A COMMON PARASITE LIVING INSIDE CATS ACTUALLY CONTROL THE MINDS OF HUMANS? EVERYTHING ELSE YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT CATS… WHEN WE RETURN. NARRATOR: CATS. WITH NEARLY 600 MILLION OF THEM WORLDWIDE, THEY’RE ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR PETS ON THE PLANET. BUT HOW WELL DO WE REALLY KNOW OUR FELINE FRIENDS?

BEFORE THE BREAK, WE ASKED “HOW DID ANCIENT EGYPTIAN FAMILIES MOURN THEIR DECEASED FELINES?” DID THE PEOPLE: A, SHAVE THEIR OWN EYEBROWS… B, CARVE A FIGURINE, OR C, STAY AWAKE UNTIL SUNRISE? GIVE UP? BELIEVE IT OR NOT, ACCORDING TO THE ANCIENT HISTORIAN HERODOTUS, WHEN EGYPTIAN CATS PASSED ON TO THE AFTERLIFE,

THE ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD WOULD OFTEN SHAVE THEIR EYEBROWS IN MOURNING. THAT’S KITTY COMMITMENT. NOW, WE GET BACK INTO OUR EIGHT, LESSER-KNOWN FACTS ABOUT THE CAT ON YOUR LAP. FOR CAT FACT FOUR, WE’RE TAKING THINGS UP A NOTCH… OVER 300 FEET UP TO BE EXACT. INCREDIBLY, CATS HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO SURVIVE FALLS FROM AS

HIGH UP AS THE STATUE OF LIBERTY. BUT HOW? MIKKEL: CATS DO NOT ALWAYS LAND ON THEIR FEET BUT THEY DO HAVE PRETTY AMAZING KIND OF NINJA SKILLS WHEN THEY’RE FALLING. NARRATOR: TO UNDERSTAND HOW THIS WORKS, LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT THE BACKBONE OF THE CAT. CATS HAVE 30 VERTEBRAE IN THEIR SPINES,

COMPARED TO OUR 24. THEY CAN BEND ALMOST A FULL 180 DEGREES, WHICH ALLOWS CATS TO ROTATE AND RIGHT THEIR HEADS IN THE AIR, THEN QUICKLY TWIST THE REST OF THEIR BODIES AROUND. AT THE SAME TIME, THE FALLING CAT ARCHES ITS BACK, WHICH DAMPENS THE FORCE OF IMPACT AS IT HITS THE GROUND.

CATS CAN MANIPULATE THEIR BODIES TO LAND WITH A FORCE FIVE TIMES LESS THAN AN INANIMATE OBJECT DROPPED FROM THE SAME HEIGHT. AMAZINGLY ENOUGH, THE WAY A CAT FALLS MAY INFLUENCE THE FUTURE OF FIRST AID. RESEARCHERS AT GEORGIA TECH ARE ACTUALLY STUDYING THE DYNAMICS OF FALLING CATS’ FLEXIBLE SPINES

TO CREATE UNBREAKABLE, SELF-RIGHTING ROBOTS FOR SEARCH AND RESCUE MISSIONS. SO IN A WAY, CATS ARE TAKING SOME OF THEIR NINE LIVES AND GIVING THEM TO US. BUT THERE’S MUCH MORE TO A CAT THAN HOW IT FALLS. FOR CAT FACT NUMBER FIVE, WE EXPLORE THEIR “SUPER SENSES.” IT STARTS WITH THE EYES.

DOMESTIC CATS NEED JUST ONE-SIXTH THE LIGHT THAT HUMANS NEED TO SEE. SO WHEN WE SEE BLACKNESS… THEY SEE EVERYTHING. CATS ALSO HAVE EXCELLENT HEARING. BETTER THAN DOGS, EVEN. THEY’RE CAPABLE OF HEARING FREQUENCIES UP TO 85,000 HERTZ. PERFECT FOR SENSING SMALL THINGS OF BIG INTEREST. BUT IN ADDITION TO NIGHT VISION GOGGLES AND

SUPER SONIC EARS… CATS ALSO HAVE POWERFUL NOSES… 14 TIMES STRONGER THAN OUR OWN. AND THEY USE THOSE NOSES TO SNIFF OUT ONE OF THEIR MOST FAVORITE THINGS. SOME CATS FALL INTO A TRANCE WHEN THEY SMELL IT. OTHERS GO CRAZY WITH DELIGHT. IT’S STRONG. IT’S EFFECTIVE. IT’S CATNIP.

THOUGH IT SEEMS LIKE SOME EXOTIC NARCOTIC, CATNIP IS JUST AN HERB IN THE MINT FAMILY. MIKKEL: SOME CATS ARE NOT AFFECTED BY IT AT ALL. BUT OTHER CATS, IT MAKES JUST THIS GINORMOUS IMPACT ON THEM. IT MAY BE LIKE KIND OF MEOWY-WOWY FOR THEM WHERE

THEY’RE LIKE, “OH MAN, THIS IS LIKE THE BEST.” NARRATOR: BUT HOW DOES IT WORK? THERE IS A CHEMICAL IN CATNIP CALLED NEPETALACTONE THAT SOME RESEARCHERS SPECULATE MIMICS CAT PHEROMONES. AND IT EVEN WORKS ON BIG CATS. MARTY: SOME CATS GO MILD AND SOME CATS GO WILD. SOME ARE SCREECHING, RUNNING AROUND,

THEY’RE EVEN FLYING UP IN THE AIR, GRABBING IMAGINARY THINGS. AND OTHERS JUST SIT THERE AND SLOBBER. NARRATOR: BUT THE MOST AMAZING THING ABOUT CATNIP MAY BE THAT IT’S NOT JUST FOR CATS. HUMANS CAN USE IT TOO! AND THAT’S OUR SIXTH AMAZING CAT FACT. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, CATNIP MAKES AN EXCELLENT MOSQUITO REPELLENT.

ACCORDING TO SOME STUDIES, IT’S ACTUALLY 10 TIMES MORE POWERFUL THAN DEET. SO USE A LITTLE CATNIP AND LOSE THE MOSQUITOS. YOU MAY, HOWEVER, BE SWARMED BY CATS. THERE’S AN OLD ENGLISH PROVERB THAT STATES, “IN A CAT’S EYE, ALL THINGS BELONG TO CATS.” AND THAT MAY INCLUDE US!

WHICH MAY EXPLAIN OUR AMAZING FACT NUMBER SEVEN: OLDER CATS ONLY MEOW FOR HUMANS. WHILE KITTENS WILL MEOW TO LET THEIR MOM’S KNOW THEY’RE HUNGRY, ONCE THEY GROW UP, THAT MEOW IS ALL FOR US. SOME CATS EVEN A HAVE A SPECIFIC “HUNGER” CRY THAT WE MAY BE HARDWIRED TO RESPOND TO.

MIKKEL: IT’S BOTH A MEOW AND A PURR TOGETHER. SO IT’S LIKE THIS REALLY COMPLEX NOISE THAT MIMICS A BABY’S CRY. SO IT MAKES US FEEL LIKE, “OH MY GOSH, I CAN’T STAND IT. I NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT.” NARRATOR: BUT THAT’S ONLY SCRATCHING THE SURFACE OF HOW

YOUR CAT MAY BE CONTROLLING YOU. GET READY FOR THE EIGHTH AND FINAL AMAZING CAT FACT: YOUR CAT MIGHT ACTUALLY BE ALTERING YOUR BRIAN! SAY HELLO TO TOXOPLASMA GONDII… A MIND CONTROL PARASITE THAT STARTS OUT IN SOME MICE. NORMALLY, WHEN A MOUSE SMELLS A CAT, IT RUNS THE OTHER WAY.

BUT MICE WITH THIS PARASITE ARE ATTRACTED TO THE SMELL OF CATS. PROBLEM IS, WHEN CATS EAT THE MICE, THEY GET THE BUG TOO… THEN PASS IT ONTO US THROUGH LITTER BOXES OR INFECTED SOIL. SO WHAT DOES IT DO TO INFECTED HUMANS? DELAYED REACTION TIMES. A TENDENCY TO GET IN AUTO ACCIDENTS.

SLOPPINESS IN MEN… NEATNESS IN WOMEN… MARTY: YOU KNOW, THERE ARE SOME RESEARCH OUT TO SUGGEST THAT SOME PEOPLE COULD HAVE SCHIZOPHRENIA AND OTHER CONDITIONS FROM BEING EXPOSED TO TOXOPLASMOSIS. NARRATOR: IT SOUNDS LIKE IT BELONGS IN A SCI-FI MOVIE… UNTIL YOU HEAR THAT BETWEEN 30 AND 50% OF ALL

HUMANS ON EARTH CARRY A TOXOPLASMA INFECTION. MIEHSHELLE: I’VE BEEN TESTED FOR IT AND I’VE BEEN EXPOSED TO IT. SO WOMEN WHO’VE BEEN EXPOSED TO IT ARE SUPPOSED TO BE A LOT NICER AND EVEN PROMISCUOUS. I DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH THAT IS TRUE. NARRATOR: IT’S LIKE A FELINE INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS!

SO MAYBE THAT’S THE REAL REASON CATS ARE THE MOST POPULAR PET. THEY’RE CONTROLLING OUR BRAINS. THANKS A LOT, SHEEBA! IT CREATES GHOSTS WITH ITS INK AND CAN TASTE WITH ITS BODY. SEVER ONE OF ITS LIMBS AND IT WILL KEEP MOVING LIKE A SNAKE. IT CAN COMPLETELY CHANGE SHAPE IN THREE-TENTHS OF A SECOND.

AND SOME PEOPLE EVEN BELIEVE… IT CAN PREDICT THE FUTURE. THE OCTOPUS… IS NEXT. NARRATOR: IT PUMPS BLOOD USING THREE HEARTS, IT CAN TASTE WITH THE POWER OF 1600 TONGUES. IF THEIR LIMBS GET RIPPED OFF, THEY CAN START TO REGROW IN AS LITTLE AS THREE DAYS…

SOME PEOPLE HAVE EVEN SUGGESTED THEY MAY BE PSYCHIC. ALL THIS FROM AN ANIMAL THAT ONLY LIVES FOR ABOUT A YEAR OR TWO… IT’S THE OCTOPUS… ONE OF THE MOST CUNNING SURVIVALISTS. BENEATH THE OCEAN’S SURFACE, THE OCTOPUS IS CONSTANTLY ON THE RUN. ROGER HANLON: I CAN GLIBLY DESCRIBE AN OCTOPUS AS A YUMMY

HUNK OF PROTEIN SWIMMING IN THE OCEAN THAT EVERYTHING IS TRYING TO EAT. NARRATOR: SO THE OCTOPUS MUST EMPLOY SOME TRULY UNIQUE SKILLS TO STAY ALIVE. NOW, WE’RE BREAKING DOWN ALL THE INCREDIBLE WAYS IT AVOIDS BEING LUNCH. THE FIRST AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ITS TOOLS IS ITS AMAZING ABILITY… TO CAMOUFLAGE.

NATALIA: THESE OCTOPUSES, THEY’RE JUST CONSTANTLY, YOU KNOW, CHANGING, ADAPTING TO BECOME A STEALTHY NINJA OF THE SEA. NARRATOR: JUST THREE-TENTHS OF A SECOND… IS ALL IT TAKES. IN THAT TIME, THE OCTOPUS CAN COMPLETELY CHANGE ITS COLOR AND PATTERN. ROGER: WE CALL THIS RAPID ADAPTIVE COLORATION.

THE ICONIC ANIMAL THE GENERAL PUBLIC THINKS ABOUT FOR CHANGING COLOR AND PATTERN IS THE CHAMELEON. BUT THEY HAVE A SLOW CHANGE AND A LIMITED REPERTOIRE. THE KING OF COLOR CHANGE IS REALLY THE OCTOPUS. NARRATOR: THE SECRET TO AN OCTOPUS’S QUICK COLOR CHANGE IS HIDDEN JUST UNDER THE SURFACE OF THE SKIN.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS. AT REST, AN OCTOPUSES SKIN COLOR IS USUALLY PRETTY UNIFORM. BUT JUST BELOW THE SKIN ARE TINY ELASTIC BAG-LIKE STRUCTURES FILLED WITH DIFFERENT COLORED PIGMENTS. THEY’RE CALLED “CHROMATOPHORES.” EACH OF THESE CHROMATOPHORES IS SURROUNDED BY MUSCLE FIBERS. WHEN THEY CONTRACT, THEY OPEN UP THE BAG AND REVEAL A NEW COLOR.

AND WHEN THE MUSCLES RELAX, IT SNAPS BACK IN AND HIDES THE COLOR. BUT HOW CAN THE OCTOPUS CREATE SUCH AN AMAZING ARRAY OF COLORFUL PATTERNS SO QUICKLY? ROGER: TO LOOK LIKE 600 OR 1,000 KINDS OF PLANTS AND ANIMALS WITHIN A THIRD OF A SECOND IS TOTAL NONSENSE. IT’S IMPOSSIBLE, YOU CAN’T DO IT.

THERE HAS TO BE A SHORT CUT. NARRATOR: HERE’S THE SHORTCUT: THE OCTOPUS HAS FIGURED OUT THAT THERE ARE REALLY ONLY A FEW BASIC PATTERNS IT NEEDS TO KNOW TO BLEND INTO THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT. UNIFORM, LIKE WHAT YOU MIGHT SEE ON A ROCK WITH NO CONTRAST…

MOTTLED, LIKE THE GRAVELLY SUBSTRATE OF THE OCEAN FLOOR AND DISRUPTIVE, WHICH MAKES THE OCTOPUS UNRECOGNIZABLE IN SHADOWY REEFS. SO INSTEAD OF HAVING TO INSTANTLY MATCH EVERY LITTLE PIECE OF ITS ENVIRONMENT, ALL THE OCTOPUS NEEDS IS A QUICK VISUAL CUE TO TURN ON ONE OF THE 3 PATTERNS AND THEN FINE TUNE.

ROGER: SO ALL THEY HAVE TO REALLY DO, IS SETTLE, LOOK AROUND THEM, IF THE CUE AROUND THEM IS FOR PATTERN 2, THEY PUT ON PATTERN 2. NARRATOR: IT’S LIKE BEING ABLE TO INSTANTLY CHANGE YOUR OUTFIT TO MATCH ANY OCCASION. IT’S A COMPLEX SURVIVAL TECHNIQUE FOR SURE.

BUT THE OCTOPUSES NEXT SKILL TO STAY ALIVE MAY BE EVEN MORE AMAZING…. WATCH THIS OCTOPUS ONE MORE TIME. NOTICE HOW IT’S NOT JUST HIS COLOR AND PATTERN THAT CHANGES. BUT ALSO… HIS TEXTURE. A BIOLOGICAL STRUCTURE UNDER THE SKIN ALLOWS THE OCTOPUS TO MORPH IN 3-D.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS: RINGS OF MUSCLES ON THE OCTOPUS’S SKIN CONTRACT, SQUEEZING IT INTO LUMPS. INSIDE THE LUMPS, ANOTHER SET OF MUSCLES TIGHTEN UP, PULLING THE BLOBS OF SKIN INTO DEFINED SHAPES. WHEN THE OCTOPUS WANTS TO SMOOTH OUT, A THIRD GROUP OF MUSCLES PULLS THE SKIN FLAT AGAIN.

ROGER: THERE’S NO OTHER ANIMAL ON EARTH THAT CAN CHANGE THE THREE DIMENSIONALITY OF THEIR SKIN. SO YOU EITHER GOT IT OR YOU DON’T. NARRATOR: THE OCTOPUS’S ANCESTORS HAVE BEEN TRYING TO SURVIVE IN THE OCEAN FOR UP TO 500 MILLION YEARS. THAT’S OLDER THAN FISH!

BACK THEN, IT MIGHT HAVE HAD EXTRA PROTECTION IN THE FORM OF A HARD OUTER SHELL. LIKE THE NAUTILUS OF TODAY. BUT SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY, THE OCTOPUS TRADED ITS ARMOR FOR MORE ADVANCED SURVIVAL TECHNIQUES… WHICH ISN’T TO SAY THEY WON’T BORROW SOMEBODY ELSE’S SHELL IN A PINCH.

NATALIA: I JUST LIKE THE IDEA THAT THEY COULD JUST BE WEARING THE CLAM, LIKE AS IF THAT IS GOING TO MASK THEM COMPLETELY. “NOTHING TO SEE HERE FOLKS.” ♪ DOO, DEE, DOO, DEE, DOO, DOO, ♪ ♪ DOO, DEE, DOO, DEE, DOO, DEE, DOO. ♪♪ [LAUGHS].

NARRATOR: SO FAR WE’VE BROKEN DOWN THE OCTOPUS’S ABILITY TO CHANGE COLOR AND SHAPE IN ORDER TO STAY ALIVE. BUT THERE’S ONE SPECIES IN PARTICULAR THAT’S EVOLVED INTO SUCH A SKILLED CREATURE, IT STANDS OUT IN THE OCTOPUS FAMILY… THE MIMIC OCTOPUS. IT CAN IMITATE A POISONOUS LIONFISH OR LIKE THIS BROWN

MIMIC, BURY ALL BUT TWO OF ITS ARMS TO LOOK LIKE A HIGHLY VENOMOUS SEA SNAKE. HERE, IT MIMICS A FISH CALLED A BANDED SOLE… A POISONOUS RELATIVE OF THE FLOUNDER. AND IN EACH OF THESE CASES, IT NOT ONLY COPIES THE APPEARANCE BUT THE SWIMMING STYLE AND SPEED OF ITS INSPIRATION.

NO DISCUSSION OF THE OCTOPUS IS COMPLETE WITHOUT MENTIONING ITS MOST ICONIC APPENDAGES. YOU KNOW IT HAS EIGHT OF THEM BUT DO YOU KNOW WHAT THEY’RE CALLED? ARE THEY A, ARMS? B, LEGS? OR C, TENTACLES? PLUS, DOES THIS OCTOPUS HAVE THE PSYCHIC SKILLS TO BEAT THE VEGAS ODDS? NARRATOR: THE OCTOPUS…

AN ALIEN WITH EIGHT FAMOUS APPENDAGES. BUT ARE THEY ARMS, LEGS, OR TENTACLES? THE ANSWER? AN OCTOPUS’S APPENDAGES ARE ACTUALLY CALLED “ARMS,” BECAUSE THEY HAVE SUCKERS ALL DOWN THEIR LENGTH. IF THEY WERE TENTACLES, THEY WOULD ONLY HAVE THEM ON THEIR TIPS. JUST ASK ANY SQUID, WHICH HAVE TENTACLES.

SO OCTOPUSES HAVE EIGHT ARMS AND ZERO TENTACLES, OR LEGS. WHICH IS NOT TO SAY THEY CAN’T USE THOSE ARMS LIKE WE USE OUR LEGS. NOW, WE GET BACK TO OUR BREAKDOWN OF THE OCTOPUS’S MOST ESSENTIAL SURVIVAL TOOLS… AND 8 OF THE MOST IMPORTANT OF THOSE TOOLS ARE

THOSE ARMS WE WERE JUST TALKING ABOUT. THE GIANT PACIFIC OCTOPUS CAN KEEP A PREDATOR AWAY WITH AN ARM SPAN OF UP TO 20 FEET… THAT’S AS HIGH AS A TWO STORY BUILDING. BUT WHAT REALLY ALLOWS THESE ARMS TO BE SUCH LIFE SAVING TOOLS? HUNDREDS OF INDEPENDENTLY CONTROLLED, MUSCULAR SUCTION CUPS.

FOR THE GIANT PACIFIC OCTOPUS, EACH INDIVIDUAL SUCKER CAN LIFT UP TO 35 POUNDS. IF YOU ADD IT ALL UP, THAT’S THEORETICALLY ALMOST 10,000 POUNDS OF LIFTING-POWER PER ARM… THE WEIGHT OF A MOVING TRUCK. BUT THESE SUCTIONS CUPS AREN’T JUST STRONG… THEY’RE ALSO “SMART.”

ROGER: SO MOST PEOPLE THINK SUCKERS ARE TO GRAB AND HOLD THINGS BUT IT’S MUCH MORE THAN THAT. SUCKERS ARE A VERY SOPHISTICATED ORGAN. NARRATOR: LET’S TAKE A CLOSER LOOK INSIDE THE SUCTION CUPS OF AN OCTOPUS. EACH SUCKER IS COVERED IN SENSITIVE CHEMICAL RECEPTORS THAT HELP THE OCTOPUS SENSE THE WORLD AROUND IT,

INCLUDING FOOD. YES, THE OCTOPUS CAN TASTE WITH EACH SUCKER. EACH SUCTION CUP IS LIKE A TONGUE AND WITH MANY SPECIES HAVING OVER 200 SUCTION CUPS PER ARM… THAT’S LIKE EACH OCTOPUS HAVING OVER 1,600 TONGUES. SO HOW CAN THE OCTOPUS’S BRAIN PROCESS THE SIGNALS FROM 1,600 TONGUES, PLUS EVERYTHING ELSE IT HAS TO DO,

ALL AT ONCE? THE ANSWER? IT DOESN’T HAVE TO. THAT’S BECAUSE THEIR ARMS DO MUCH OF THE WORK. EACH OCTOPUS ARM HAS THREE TIMES AS MANY NEURONS THAN IN THEIR BRAIN. IF YOU WERE TO SEVER THE ARM, THEN TOUCH A PIECE OF FOOD TO IT,

THE SEVERED ARM WILL STILL MOVE THE FOOD TO WHERE THE MOUTH USED TO BE, EVEN THOUGH THE HEAD ISN’T THERE… AND EVEN AN HOUR AFTER THE ARM’S BEEN SEVERED! AND THAT’S NOT EVEN CLOSE TO THE CRAZIEST ONE OF THE OCTOPUS’S SURVIVAL SKILLS. EVEN THOUGH THE OCTOPUS CAN PERFECTLY MATCH THE COLOR OF

THEIR ENVIRONMENT, THEY CAN’T ACTUALLY SEE COLOR. THEY’RE COLOR BLIND. NATALIA: ALL THIS COLOR CHANGING AND SHAPE SHIFTING AND THEY’RE COLORBLIND. IT’S CRAZY… THESE OCTOPUS, YOU KNOW, THEY’RE BORN GENIUSES. NARRATOR: SO HOW DO THEY DO IT? NEW EVIDENCE SUGGESTS OCTOPUSES MAY BE DETECTING COLORS THROUGH THEIR SKIN.

IT’S LIKE THEY’RE SEEING WITH THEIR ENTIRE BODY. ROGER: LIGHT DETECTING MOLECULES IN OTHER ANIMALS HAVE NEVER BEEN DEMONSTRATED. IF WE CAN SOMEHOW FIND THAT THEY HAVE THIS LIGHT SENSING CAPABILITY TO DO SOMETHING WITH IT THROUGHOUT THE SKIN, IT WOULD BE REALLY NEW TO SCIENCE. NARRATOR: SO THE OCTOPUS IS STILL TEACHING SCIENCE

SOMETHING NEW EVERY DAY. BUT ITS MOST WELL KNOWN SURVIVAL TOOL IS ITS ABILITY TO DISAPPEAR INTO A PUFF OF INK. THERE MAY BE MORE GOING ON IN THAT CLOUD THAN ANYONE EVER REALIZED. ROGER: PEOPLE SEE A PUFF OF INK AND THEY SAY, “OH, THAT’S COOL. THAT’S HOW IT WORKS.”

BUT, THERE’S MUCH MORE TO IT THAN THAT. NARRATOR: SOME OCTOPUS INK CONTAINS A CHEMICAL CALLED TYROSINASE WHICH CAN DISRUPTS AND CONFUSE A PREDATOR’S SENSES LIKE SMELL AND TASTE. AT THE SAME TIME, SOME RESEARCH SHOWS THAT THE INK MAY ALSO CONTAIN NEUROTRANSMITTERS WHICH ALERT OTHER OCTOPUSES THAT THERE’S A PREDATOR IN THE AREA.

SO ITS NOT JUST SAVING ITSELF BUT THE SPECIES AS A WHOLE AND IT GETS MORE AMAZING. BILL: THEY CAN EXPEL THE INK IN THE FORM OF SOMETHING CALLED A “PSEUDO-MORPH.” NARRATOR: HERE’S HOW IT WORKS: SOMETIMES A FLEEING OCTOPUS WILL SHOOT OUT A SMALL BALL OF MUCUS WITH THE INK.

THIS MUCUS SURROUNDS THE INK FORMING A DARK, FLOATING SHAPE, OR “PSEUDO-MORPH” THAT ACTUALLY RESEMBLES ANOTHER OCTOPUS THE EFFECT? A GOOEY GHOST LEFT HANGING IN THE WATER TO CONFUSE HUNGRY FISH. IT TAKES SOME PRETTY SPECIAL BIOLOGY AND AN EVEN MORE ADVANCED BRAIN TO PULL OFF ALL THESE AMAZING ABILITIES. HOW ADVANCED?

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, SOME PEOPLE THINK THIS OCEANIC ALIEN MAY EVEN BE PSYCHIC. MEET PAUL THE OCTOPUS. IT SEEMED PAUL HAD A KNACK FOR PREDICTING THE FUTURE… OR AT LEAST THE FUTURE FOR THE GERMAN SOCCER TEAM. PAUL’S KEEPERS WOULD OFFER HIM TWO BOXES,

EACH WITH FOOD IN IT AND EACH BEARING THE FLAG OF A TEAM IN THE UPCOMING SOCCER GAME. WHICHEVER ONE PAUL OPENED WAS CONSIDERED HIS PREDICTION. IT SOUNDS PRETTY RIDICULOUS UNTIL YOU HEAR HE CHOSE THE WINNERS IN ALL SEVEN OF GERMANY’S 2010 WORLD CUP MATCHES.

IF PAUL’S HANDLERS HAD PLAYED THE ODDS AND PUT $1,000 DOWN TO PICK ALL THE WINNERS, PAUL WOULD’VE NETTED A COOL $300,000. AND FOR THIS ULTIMATE SURVIVOR… THAT’S “NEVER HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT PREDATORS AGAIN” MONEY.

About Nat Geo WILD

National Geographic Wild is a place for all things animals and for animal-lovers alike. Take a journey through the animal kingdom with us and discover things you never knew before, or rediscover your favorite animals!

Video “Elephants, Cats & Octopuses (Full Episode) | Everything You Didn't Know About Animals” was uploaded on 06/08/2021 to Youtube Channel Nat Geo WILD