1. says

    It took me a bit, but I realized that the octopus was the part of that clump of seaweed that wasn’t swaying with the current.

  2. Geoffrey says

    Video isn’t working for me, but if it’s the one I think it is – octopus against seaweed suddenly blanches white and jets away, and then they reverse the footage? – there’s a better-resolution version in a rather good Discovery Channel piece on cephs.

    (I know this because I have the sort of wife who buys me cephalopod DVDs.)

  3. avery says

    If the video looks like it’s not working, click once in the area where the video should be…that seemed to help for me on Mac(Safari) and Linux(Firefox).

  4. OhioBrian says

    One of the comments in the previous link identified the original source, but the clip was also included in “The Octopus Show,” a special on PBS’s “Nature” series. (My cousin’s husband directed and hosted that show, a fact of which I am forever proud.)

  5. Michael Hopkins says

    Doesn’t seem to work in Firefox 2.0 under WindowsXP on my PC, but IE7 is fine.

    Works just fine in Firefox 2 using XP on my PC.

  6. Stephen Wells says

    On first viewing, it looked like the darn thing just decloaked. You normally only see that on sci-fi B-movies.

  7. Rod Rich says

    Sure looks suspiciously like a little clever compositing to me – the first thing that grabbed my attention was the profile of the “octopus” against the background before and after dropping its camouflage. Where’d the little knobby protrusions go? There are also some peculiar things going on around the borders of the octopus and the plant that looks like a blur/morph, but that could be compression errors. I doubt it, but maybe.

    Since there’s nothing on the line but pride, I’ll bet this ‘pus had a little technical help!

    “Shopped” as in “Photoshopped?” Cool! New slang!

  8. Rod Rich says

    My wife the Compositing Queen just looked it over and declared it a complete fraud. So there.

  9. sphex says

    I don’t think it’s ‘shopped’. Cephalopods are clever creatures, and camouflage is something they do very well. Color camouflage is only one kind. Here a couple of links to another kind.

    PZ- I too was surprised you hadn’t seen this video before… but since you hadn’t, perhaps you missed these, too?

    Octopus disguises self as branch of something and “walks” on two legs.

    Octopus disguises self as coconut and “walks” on two legs.

  10. says

    Oh, holy mackarel, I’m sorry. I’m too used to memetics carrying well ahead of me. ‘It’s a shop’, followed by the argument from authority, is often used as a meme for the individual who thinks so very highly of his insightful abilities when he is, in fact, wrong.

    It’s not a shop. If it is a shop (yes, as in photoshopped), it is beyond the feasibility of doing this for a prank. You have to ask yourself: If it’s a shop, why would anyone do it?

  11. Randy! says

    Wow, a cephalopod concern troll. Is that a first? Only on PZ would you find one. In fact, of all the places to demonstrate one’s ignorance of a particular subject, this guy chooses Pharyngula to try to demonstrate his knowledge of Cephalopods?

    If Todd is being snarky with his ‘shop reference then touche’. I have been taken in by his quality snark. Well done, sir.

  12. Steff Z says

    “Little knobby protrusions” on octopuses do, in fact, just go away.
    They can change texture, as well as color. Fast.

    @ those decreeing it’s “shopped”:
    Is the fish a fake? It’s all pixelated-looking.
    How much computing time would have to go into rendering the highly realistic-looking ink cloud?
    Do go look at the clip with the best resolution before crying “fake!”

    The Hanlon lab doesn’t NEED to fake this stuff; the real thing is already mind-bendingly, breathtakingly cool.
    If you haven’t noticed the extreme fabulousness of cephalopod camouflage abilities, you have not been reading PZ for very long.

  13. Rod Rich says

    A troll? Surely you don’t mean moi.

    Nope, just a work-a-day video guy, and while I obviously don’t know doodly about cephalopods, I have enough experience with video/film compositing to know that this is absolutely doable as a special effect, even on After Effects or Combustion. (My wife happens to be better at it than I am. Could she have created this from scratch? I think so.)

    So, I did a bit of poking around on the web, and sure enough, I’m not the only one who couldn’t believe his eyes:

    As for the authenticity of the clip, it certainly looks like, yup, it’s real. Fantastic, amazing, but real. Sorry for suspecting you, Dr. Hanlon!

  14. Steff Z says

    Sorry to snark, Rod. I know about cephalopods, but not much about image compositing. So to me, faking it seems a lot harder than going on an expedition to Hawaii with an underwater video camera. I guess I’m wrong about that.
    On the other hand, the field trip would be far more fun, despite the malicious glee that’s such an important component of photoshop pranks.