There might have been a time where I thought octopuses were cool, funny, and maybe even a little cute. When you're a child, animals populate most of the books you read, as well as the TV shows and movies you watch. I'm sure there were plenty of eight-armed oddities that I found entertaining back then, but as an adult... they kind of freak me out.
It's not just that they are gross and slimy - after all, I will happily eat octopus in a restaurant or chow down on some calamari any day. There is something so strange about the creature that I just can't handle them. Luckily for me I haven't even seen one in real life, because I think I would be terrified if I were to encounter one face to face.
On the other hand, I still find them fascinating. Especially when you start looking into the idea of the giant squid - whether it be in myth, fiction or the real scientific possibility of these creatures existing deep under the sea. That's why I absolutely loved the appearance of the Kraken, a gigantic tentacled creature from legend, in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
After seeing that movie I was terrified but intrigued, and even had a recurring dream about being chased through the ocean by that monster. When you think about the way the octopus attacks its prey, if it were bigger we would be in a lot of trouble.
When you think about it, the octopus is a brilliantly designed animal. Despite its ridiculous appearance, a far stretch from land-based mammals like us, it has a lot of weird and effective survival skills. The boneless creatures have three hearts, eject ink to confuse predators, can re-grow their tentacles, and can squeeze through tight spaces far smaller than their bodies appear to be.
But the scariest reveal of all has to be this video, which shows a seagull being drowned by an octopus. Rowan Treece, who uploaded the video onto Youtube, said in the description: "I captured this rare event when we were feeding the seagulls hot chips down the richmond river northern nsw, it grabed [sic] the seagull while it was swimming waiting for the chips".
Warning: graphic content.
I've had enough food stolen by seagulls to have a life-long grudge, but even I feel quite sorry for the unlucky bird here. It is dragged under by the ambitious octopus, who seems to have claimed a prize much larger than its usual prey of small crabs, scallops and snails.
I don't think I'll be getting the images of this octopus out of my head for a while, so it may be best for me to watch something a little less terrifying. If you are looking for more rare ocean sightings, you should definitely check out the time that an extremely rare albino white whale surfaced in Australia.