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The return of the multi-armed octopus to the beach in Haifa

Lately, one of the most fascinating and intelligent animals has been rediscovered in the natural world - the octopus. Although in popular culture, in books and movies, such as the children's movie "The Little Mermaid" in which Ursula stars as the evil character, the octopus is presented as an aggressive and dangerous monster, the reality is far from that. In fact, it is an intelligent and fascinating animal that has a lot to offer researchers and nature lovers.

Chromatophores in magnification (photo: Motty Mendelsohn)

the octopus

The octopus is a smart and fascinating marine creature that belongs to the mollusc class. With eight arms and two large eyes, it is known for its ability to change color and texture to camouflage itself from predators. The octopus lives in the depths of the sea and can get out of tight places thanks to the flexibility of its slippery body. In the Bat Galim area of ​​Haifa you can sometimes see octopuses living among the rocks near the beach.

Octopus at Bat Galim Beach (Photo: Motti Mendelson)

Unusually smart

After hours of dives, surveillance and field experiments, the conclusion is one: the octopus is an unusually smart creature. It is not a mammal like the dolphin or the whale, nor does it have the wisdom of primates, dogs or elephants, but an unusually developed mollusk.

Eating in peace (photo: Motty Mendelsohn)

The brain behind the arms

The octopus has eight muscular and strong arms, equipped with powerful snap buttons. Each arm has the ability to move almost independently, which allows the octopus to have complete control over all parts of its body. The octopus is equipped with three hearts and a large and developed brain. In addition, he can change his skin color and texture with the help of chromatophores (color cells), which allows him to blend in perfectly with his surroundings and evade predators.

The octopus's developed senses allow it to sense taste at the tips of its arms, which adds to the depth of its communication and understanding of its environment. Some scientists claim that the octopus is such an advanced creature that it may even be an alien.

The octopus (photo: Motty Mendelsohn)

Life in the depths of the sea

The movie "Morthy the Octopus" broke the net and presented the octopus as a lovable and communicative animal. Octopuses can show emotions and react to their environment in complex ways. When an octopus feels fear or apprehension, its color changes to bright, and when it is calm, its color is mottled brown and cream and fades.

During dives, I found that the octopuses were not afraid of me after a short time, and even began to approach and investigate me. It was an experience from another world - to see the communication between man and this intelligent mollusk. They even got on my knees to investigate, and returned slowly towards the hole.

The octopus (photo: Motty Mendelsohn)

The return of the octopus

In the past, octopuses were found in quantities on almost all Israeli beaches, but gradually disappeared. Overfishing for food and lack of food may have affected their population. To my surprise, the octopuses have returned in a big way in recent years, and now you can see their return in large quantities, which proves that our sea in Israel is recovering.

The octopus looks a little scared (Photo: Muti Mendelsohn)

The octopus - an animal with a personality

Octopus has its own "personality". There are more and less anxious octopuses, and there are bold ones that come out when a person approaches their environment. But this does not mean that this article is a guide to communication with the octopuses. Overall, this animal should not be bullied, just like a dolphin - if it wants to, it will come closer, and if not, it will keep its distance.

An optimistic Saturday for everyone, and remember - the octopuses are amazing creatures that have returned to us after a long time. We must take care of them and not disturb their natural course of life.

The "human" eyes of the octopus (photo: Muti Mendelsohn)
Octopus swimming (photo: Motty Mendelsohn)

Contact Chai here: At watsapBy email

Motty Mendelssohn
Motty Mendelssohn
Marine researcher (diving, underwater photography) and marine and environmental ecology for 35 years. Lecturer in the field for about 20 years. You can order a lecture or a series of lectures accompanied by unique and spectacular photos, taken during many years of research, in Israel and abroad • 050-7271157 • [email protected]

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32 תגובות

  1. Motti, what fun you share every time... I also had the opportunity to watch an octopus for the first time in my life, last Friday I was at Bonim Beach and I came across two octopuses similar to the one photographed in the article, their life is truly extraordinary... and there was also a guitar for dessert.

  2. I've been diving for 43 years, once there were octopuses every meter in the last 7 years, I haven't seen a single one, it's not the fisherman's problem, it's more ecological in the living conditions

  3. Hi Muti
    Another interesting loot article as usual. I remember octopuses as a child in Shikmona together with starfish.
    What I did want to ask is whether there are several types here or are they all the same type.

    • Hello Shay and thank you
      There are several types.
      The smallest is the blue ringed in Australia and is very venomous.

  4. Dear Muti! There are no words for this fascinating article! Every time you find a way to bring the depths of the sea to the computer and expose us readers in a thoroughly and interesting way to the creatures that live in it. The pictures of the octopus look amazing and the photography is of very high quality. In addition, I liked the video of the octopus the most where you can actually see it in the water in a very clear and precise way! Please keep writing articles like this and enrich our knowledge. just lovely:) !!!

  5. indeed. Since I experienced encounters with octopuses while diving I strongly reject restaurant menus that serve octopus meat. It is highly intelligent and aware manufacturing…

    • 20+ years ago I had a giant and shy octopus friend hidden in a cave at Palmahim beach, I would hand feed him crabs, fish and shellfish. I didn't tell my fellow divers either because they had a big appetite 🙂 And just like you because of the deep connection I had with that octopus for several months, I don't eat octopuses anymore even though their lives are short anyway and their reproduction rate is relatively high, a year later it was replaced by a smaller octopus. It's a shame they don't live longer, they learn so fast that I believe if they lived thirty years or more, they would develop primate intelligence, definitely aliens

  6. When I was a child we used to go snorkeling in Shikmona even before they built the marine institute there, there were a lot of fish and other animals there but when they started building the marine institute they did explosions in the sea to cast concrete pillars and that ended all the fish in the area, it became like a desert there, not a single fish was at sea
    I haven't been diving for years and I was happy to read in the article that the fish are back there, maybe I'll take my grandchildren to dive there

  7. Shabbat Shalom Hades the octopus is not an aggressive animal if you hold it and it will feel certain, it can or can attract.
    And if any of the divers in the world had a scary encounter with an octopus, it's usually a giant octopus that doesn't live in Israel, and being curious and with his senses at the tips of his arms, he might rip a mask or a regulator out of a diver's mouth.
    Such encounters are extremely rare.
    Octopus of the same size as a double octopus in the ocean
    The Atlantic can also kill.
    There are none in Israel.
    good week.

  8. A very smart animal!
    I love him (not on a plate, and in general I love animals - live and not on a plate 🙂
    Thanks for the information

    • Shabbat Shalom Issy
      You can see them in Shekmona South, and in Shonim in front of Maxim.

  9. It is important to keep the animals so that they have a place to live and it is amazing that there are such animals in Israel

  10. Shabbat Shalom.
    What fun to read such an article. It is very exciting that our sea is recovering.
    Maybe if the octopuses stay there is a possibility that they will eat the jellyfish and then there will be less jellyfish on the beaches? Is there a situation?

    • Shabbat Shalom Rebecca.
      Unfortunately, the jellyfish are not on the menu of the octopuses, but there will be a certain chain reaction already, there are changes in the behavior of the jellyfish.
      And they also have more predators, get rid of them completely...unfortunately it won't happen.

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