Little kraken throws 'temper tantrum' at deepwater shipwreck

- Along the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, an octopus appeared to have an outburst for not getting its way after a brief "battle of the shipwreck."

NOAA has been traveling the deep waters of the Gulf to better understood life down under. Their robot diver captures video of its travels, which are live streamed on the NOAA website. On April 13, the remotely-operated diving vehicle came across a muse octopus traveling along the sandy sediment at the bottom of the ocean.

The vehicle then moved onto a nearby shipwreck, where an octopus, possibly the same one from earlier in the dive, attempted to enter a crawl space under some planks, but it was already occupied by another octopod. The current occupant didn’t seem too happy about the disturbance, and there was a brief scuffle. The intruder lost, and in its final act appeared to wrap its tentacles around a portion of the unidentified ship. 

One of the NOAA scientists can be heard saying, “If you could tell your creature to stop tearing apart the shipwreck that would be great.” 

“Copy that, Shoreside. We’ll do our best to communicate that to them.”

The defeated octopus swam several meters away. It landed on sediment and began to wave its tentacles around. Usually, shallow-water octopods do this to bury themselves, NOAA said, but it didn’t occur here. Instead, a sandy cloud formed around it, and sediments were thrown in different directions. 

On NOAA’s website, they joked, “maybe all of that arm waving was just a temper tantrum after having lost the Battle of the Shipwreck.” During the ordeal, one scientist is heard saying in the live video, “He’s just very upset he couldn’t take that hiding spot from the other octopus.”

NOAA dives daily until May 2 for its Gulf of Mexico 2018 expedition, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT. Live video of the dives can be viewed on the NOAA website.

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