Octopus Turns Camera On Filmaker and Research Students

Proving once again that they might be the smartest creatures in the sea.

Photo by Benjamin Savard, Middlebury College via Reddit (but really, photocred to the octopus)

Middlebury College, located in Vermont, has a new campus celebrity— an octopus. The California two-spot octopus is known for its intelligence, friendly temperament, and relative hardiness, but students found that the creature also may be camera shy.

According to American Live Wire, the research subject grabbed the GoPro placed in its tank and turned the camera on researchers and the college’s digital media producer, Benjamin Savard, before trying to bite it.

The neuroscience students were exploring whether or not the species, also called Octopus bimaculoides, could open boxes of food quicker after watching a video of another octopus do the same, using its innate ability to learn and repeat small tasks.

“I was just trying to brainstorm different ideas of how to show off the kind of unique research that’s going on here and in ways that would be engaging,” Savard posted on Reddit, where he garnered attention for sharing a photo and GIF of the sequence. “I think the octopus’ timing was great. I was just in the right place at the right time.”