Incredible footage shows an octopus change colour in SECONDS to protect itself from predators

  • Rare footage shows an octopus changing colour to hide from predators
  • The camouflage mechanism has evolved in many different species of octopus
  • Camouflage is one of many tricks used by the animals use to defend themselves 

An octopus has been caught on camera by a scuba diver who noticed that the sea-creature's body was changing colour.

As the camera follows the octopus around, its body can be seen lighting up in a incredible attempt to camouflage itself from potential predators. 

The footage shows the majestic animal flashing aggressively - a warning that it felt threatened by the cameraman's presence.

As the octopus settles down on a spot further along the reef it changes colour and shrinks in size to blend seamlessly with the surrounding coral reef.  

OCTOPUS CAMOUFLAGE 

Octopuses have several methods of defence. 

One of the most effective ways they avoid predation is by camouflaging with the surrounding environment. 

Octopuses are part of the family cephalapods, which includes squid and cuttlefish.

Many of these animals have chromataphores in their skin.  

These special pigment cells allow them to control the colour of their skin, much like chameleons. 

They can also change the texture of their skin to better blend in.  

Hector Seguin Jr, 52, captured the footage whilst scuba diving at Ewa Pinnacles, just off the south-west coast of O'ahu, Hawaii. 

Mr Seguin said: 'Whilst scuba diving I spotted this particular octopus just lying right out in the open on the reef.

'It was pretty incredible to see this happen right in front of my eyes - all creatures of the undersea world are amazing in their own way. '

The Hawaiian native has completed over 3,500 scuba dives and says he has never seen an octopus so close. 

The colour-changing animal was caught on camera, which is usually reserved for when it feels threatened.

Octopuses are highly-intelligent beasts that have evolved to master their marine environment and are unique in the animal kingdom for many reasons - having three hearts, for example.  

Camouflage is just one of their remarkable methods of self-preservation. 

The creature was seen changing colour as it swims, one of the methods of defence for the unique animals. A native scuba diver spotted the animal and said he saw it 'lying right out in the open'

The creature was seen changing colour as it swims, one of the methods of defence for the unique animals. A native scuba diver spotted the animal and said he saw it 'lying right out in the open'

The colour change of the octopus is an ability that has evolved over thousands of years to help avoid detection from preators
The chromataphores in the skin of the animal are similar to the ones in the skin of chameleons

A scuba diver from Hawaii recorded the footage whilst scuba diving off the coast of Ewa beach on the island of O'ahu

Octopuses are part of the family 'cephalapods' and many of these animals have special cells called chromataphores in their skin. These change colour to blend in with the environment and help the animal hide 

Octopuses are part of the family 'cephalapods' and many of these animals have special cells called chromataphores in their skin. These change colour to blend in with the environment and help the animal hide 

Octopuses are part of the family 'cephalapods' and many of these animals have special cells called chromataphores in their skin. 

These pigment cells allow them to control the colour of their skin, much like chameleons do.

The darker skin colour is useful for octopuses in deep water but the whiter completion comes in useful for camouflage on coral reefs, especially as coral bleaching becomes ever more common with increasing ocean temperatures.  

They can also change the texture of their skin to better blend in with their environment. 

By contracting or expanding their skin they can appear smoother or rougher depending on the terrain.

This flexibility is also used in another method of  defence.

The darker pigmentation of the octopus will allow it to better blend in with certain environments, including in deeper water
The lighter pigmentation will aid survival of the animal in environments closer to the shore, including on coral reefs

They can also change the texture of their skin to better blend in with their environment. By contracting or expanding their skin they can appear smoother or rougher depending on the terrain

The tentacles of the octopus are another method of defence and are extremely powerful. Camouflage is one of several ways that octopuses have to protect themselves - interestingly, they also have three hearts 

The tentacles of the octopus are another method of defence and are extremely powerful. Camouflage is one of several ways that octopuses have to protect themselves - interestingly, they also have three hearts 

Octopuses have developed a 'jet propulsion' method of escape, where they rapidly shoot out water to get through the water rapidly. 

When cornered, they have also been known to attack. 

The jet of water from the siphon is often accompanied by the release of a large amount of ink to confuse and evade potential enemies.

The suckers on the tentacles of the eight-legged beasts are extremely powerful and are used to drag prey towards a sharp beak.

Octopuses are considered one of the most intelligent marine animals and have evolved to be able to detect ultrasound waves from the Earth before a volcanic eruption as many of the animals live near the volcano on Italian island Stromboli

Octopuses are considered one of the most intelligent marine animals and have evolved to be able to detect ultrasound waves from the Earth before a volcanic eruption as many of the animals live near the volcano on Italian island Stromboli

The combination of a change in colour and in texture makes the octopus almost indistinguishable from the coral reef. Bleaching of coral reefs has caused a significant decline to biodiversity of ecosystems 

The combination of a change in colour and in texture makes the octopus almost indistinguishable from the coral reef. Bleaching of coral reefs has caused a significant decline to biodiversity of ecosystems 

As well as protection from other animals, it has been recently found that octopuses can detect the ultrasonic waves that preempt a volcanic eruption or earthquake, giving them enough time to escape.

Hundreds of the animals live in the sea around the Italian island of Stromboli, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. 

Their detection abilities allow them to safely flee the area just before an eruption and return when it has returned to normal.  

The footage was taken off the south west coast of the Hawaiian island of O'ahu at the Ewa Pinnacles

The footage was taken off the south west coast of the Hawaiian island of O'ahu at the Ewa Pinnacles

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