Blanket octopus in Palm Beach, Florida
© Steven Kovacs/Minden Picture
An underwater rainbow
You might look twice if you passed by this Technicolor sea creature gliding through the ocean water. In celebration of World Octopus Day, we're marveling at a photograph of the rarely seen blanket octopus, near Palm Beach, Florida. The blanket octopus gets its common name from the sheets of webbing that stretch between some arms of the female, like the one pictured here. When threatened, it stretches out its arms, creating a blanket-like silhouette to intimidate would-be attackers.
This is just one of the roughly 300 known species of octopus that we’re celebrating today. These underwater animals are some of the world's oldest creatures, with fossils dating back more than 300 million years—which means they predate dinosaurs. Plus, they have excellent sight and are highly intelligent. What’s not to love?