News Animals Octopus Outsmarts Testers in Intelligence Experiment By Melissa Breyer Editorial Director Hunter College F.I.T., State University of New York Cornell University Melissa Breyer is Treehugger’s editorial director. She is a sustainability expert and author whose work has been published by the New York Times and National Geographic, among others. our editorial process Melissa Breyer Updated November 17, 2019 CC BY 4.0. Wikimedia Commons Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices Yet another example of the uncanny intelligence of our 8-armed overlords. Ugh, octopuses are so smart. ("Ugh" as in: I love them so much I am rendered nearly speechless.) They are so unworldly and so advanced – honestly, they make us humans look like rubes. Octopuses have eyes like cameras, have mastered invisibility, can slip through tiny holes, and have not two, but eight arms ... that happen to be decked out with suckers that possess the sense of taste. And those arms can execute cognitive tasks even when dismembered. Octopuses have distinct personalities, can navigate through complex mazes, use tools, and figure out all kinds of complicated human stuff. In fact, the octopus genome is almost as large as a human’s and actually contains more protein-coding genes: 33,000, compared with fewer than 25,000 in humans. With all of these marvelous maneuverings in mind, I confess I wasn't that surprised to see what happened when handlers of the beautiful boy in the OctolabTV video below presented him with a puzzle. In the intelligence test, they gave the octopus a twist top bottle with a tasty snack inside. Obviously, they were expecting to watch the little guy figure out how to unscrew the top. Buahaha, thinks the octopus. As Octolab notes, "He was able to find another way into the bottle that was not foreseen by his handlers." Mmm hmm. "It’s always fun when an experiment takes a turn we did not expect." BONUS! From the YouTube comments: I liked the part where the octopus stole the researcher’s credit card and ordered more fish from Amazon. Most octopuses: Sorcerer-rogue, high int. score, stealthyThis octopus: BARBARIAN I swear at the end he was looking at the camera as if to say "I will not be thwarted puny human" Researcher: The only way to get at the fish is by unscrewing the top.Octopus: Hold my beer.