Friday Cephalopod: Super-powers!

Molluscs have amazing super-powers.


(via It’s Okay to be Smart)

But you know what? So do humans. We air-breathing terrestrial bipeds are able to enter strange alien worlds and return with a digital record of the events that even the lubbers among us can appreciate.


  1. Banecroft says

    The FSM bless technology!

    Also, when can we expect genetic enhancements that allow us to slither along the sea bed?

  2. says

    I’m reading this SF story, Blue Remembered Earth, which is set in a future with different radical factions — one are the Pans, who’ve genetically and surgically re-engineered themselves to live in the oceans. I know which side I’d be on.

  3. Banecroft says

    Yeah! Genetic engineering for the win! :)

    I’ll stand with you PZ, while the norms beat us with bats for our far-reaching dreams.

  4. PDX_Greg says

    Dunno if I’d want to live in the oceans as long as humankind continues to flush all the land-man swill and dross into them. But I have to agree, in a completely non-bestiality sense, that that slinky mollusk move was pretty sexy.

  5. marcus says

    This video makes me hanker for my next dive vacation. Must… wait… 10…more…months…gaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

  6. wcorvi says

    In November I was snorkeling on the GBR of Australia, and I saw a piece of the sand get up and swim away. I thought I was hallucinating, but evidently not?

  7. michaellatiolais says

    I’m moving to California in a few weeks from the dry, dry Midwest, and I plan on diving every chance I get.

  8. profpedant says

    Lots of pretty and interesting things, but like far too many modern videos there were far too many jumps to something else. It would have been better if the video had shown each scene for long enough that we could be sure what we were seeing.

  9. says

    I miss diving. That said, I’m utterly mesmerized by just how fabulous that cephalopod’s camo happens to be. I wish I could do something half that efficient when I’m out shooting birds* for 6 to 8 hours.
    *with a camera.

  10. Sili says

    he Pans, who’ve genetically and surgically re-engineered themselves to live in the oceans.


    Aquatic Apes?

  11. Ichthyic says

    We air-breathing terrestrial bipeds are able to enter strange alien worlds and return with a digital record of the events that even the lubbers among us can appreciate.

    which reminds me…

    Most of us like to see images like this, but really are unaware that the real professionals who try to make this their living actually have a very hard time of it these days. It’s not like the 70s when hardly anyone was participating in this, and there was money available to do it. Now, there is very little money floating around for this kind of thing, and it gets harder and harder for real professionals to keep bringing people images, movies and even documentaries that bring that sense of wonder when we view the underwater world.

    point is, don’t forget these guys. Many of them have websites where you can donate a few bucks to help keep them going. Don’t think that commercial enterprises like the “Discovery Channel” or “National Geographic” do much to help out; they pay VERY little for these folks’ time any more.

    Example from personal experience:

    When I worked on White Sharks along the coast of California, the Disco Channel came out to film our work for their annual “Shark Week” broadcast. We took them out many times over a period of ten days, which given materials, time, and expenses, cost us about 4k. Know how much they paid us for all that?



    there’s a reason I had to stop doing that work. Please think of the people behind those scenes when you view your next “Shark Week” or BBC documentary.

  12. Ichthyic says

    I’m reading this SF story, Blue Remembered Earth

    Just downloaded Reynolds entire collection.

  13. bassmanpete says

    I wouldn’t want to get that close to a Tiger Shark even if I was in a boat!

  14. says

    PZ Thanks for posting my video :)

    Nice timing to see it posted. I have spent the last 2 days working at a Mind Body and Spirit show (demonstrating a blender) surrounded by the wall to wall quackery and credulity and arrogance of belief that reaches no end. My blood just boils with the confidence this mystics peddle their complete shit.

    I hope some people like the video :)

    The Octopus are the stars in it, of course. I really love shooting them especially when they come to check out the camera.


    Sorry if you find it too quick cut. Its just supply and demand from trying to make a suitable youtube video, that keeps people attention. It’s hard :/

    @ Ichthyic

    You absolutely right about the cost and low financial reward involved in a hobby or career like this. There is small earnings from stock footage sales and from YouTube ads, but ultimately its an expensive hobby. The setup which this was filmed has just recently died (hence this best of tribute video) and shot it’s last shot. It’s was about $10k setup not including the costs of the dives, but I have loved every second, and I take great pleasure from anyone that enjoys watching the videos I make :)

    Time to get a new setup.

  15. chigau (違う) says

    I enjoyed the video.
    Thank you.
    I grew up on the prairies and didn’t see a body of water larger than an irrigation lake until I was a teenager.
    The ocean tried to kill me the first time I stepped into it (undertow), so it terrifies me.
    Really gorgeous, though.
    (Do you demonstrate blenders to support your underwater photography habit?)

  16. says

    Hi Chigau,

    Thanks :)

    The Ocean very nearly claimed me as well. I had to be rescued from drowning in a rip current on a secluded beach in Australia many years ago while travelling there. All rescue attempts to get me in failed and if it was not for a random body boarder that came from nowhere I was good as dead. My problem was the opposite, too much confidence in the water nearly lead to my demise.

    As for the blenders yes I have been demonstrating for the last 7 years. It’s self employed commission sales, so can work when you like and take off what ever time you want, I take off a lot of time :) I worked many years before that as a diving instructor and dive guide, and took up underwater filming as a hobby.

    Ichthyic –

    I am in London at the moment but am planning to move to Indonesia Gili Islands soon and set up an underwater video company. I have done very little filming in the last years but I spent 2 months already living there this year, and I love the place…. And a girl I met there so haha. My dream would be work on some kind of short film or documentary, or some feature length video on the area to sell in the dive shops, but the day to day business will probably come from shooting divers and selling DVDs. I have done a few footage to music videos and would like try the next step of a story and narration.

    The new kit is a big step. It’s about $25k all in with housing lens and camera but will be broadcast quality :) I not exactly confident of seeing a return on that, but hopefully I can use it to get by doing something I really love for a while.. And who knows, maybe I get lucky! If not… Back to the blenders!

    How is it with you. You film as well underwater?

  17. Ichthyic says

    How is it with you. You film as well underwater?

    stills only. I ended up not being able to make a living at it, and ended up shooting interior design to make some cash instead, but I still dabble from time to time using my old nikonos 5 rig.

    Let me know if you ever hit New Zealand and we can take a trip out to the Poor Knight Islands.

  18. marcus says

    jameswalker@19 Loved your video, the music is divine. Great production. I’ve given up trying to get any kind of decent pictures myself, I admire those that can. Will look for you when we dive Indo. Soon I hope!

  19. says


    I’m glad you like the music. It’s takes ages to find a good track! I plan to move to Gili Air off Lombok so for sure send us a msg if you want to go diving there :)

    makethemostoflife at gmail


    I have dived quite a bit in New Zealand. I spent a year living there in a camper van! Even did my Instructor Exam in Lake Pupuke Auckland. Will be in touch, if I am back that way :)