The giant Pacific octopus is one of the smartest creatures in the ocean, and this short viral clip is definitive proof. The video, originally filmed in June 2023, shows a 50-pound octopus slithering across the deck of a deep sea fishing boat somewhere off the California coast. With a small bit of coaxing from the angler who caught it, the cephalopod finds its way through the boat’s small access hatch before plunging off the port side, back into its watery home. See it for yourself below:

The video offers a rare glimpse at how an octopus moves when stranded outside the water. It seems to glide across the deck with an uncanny awareness of its surroundings. “He knows where the gate is,” one angler says, opening the hatch so the octopus can get out. “I’ve been coming out here for 20 years, and I’ve never seen that,” another crew member says from behind the camera.

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According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the giant Pacific octopus’ arm span can exceed 13 feet in length. In the water, the animals moves through jet propulsion. They can also walk across the ocean floor standing upright on eight legs. For habitat, they prefer reefs and piling where they dine on a combination of shellfish, crabs, lobster, and even seabirds.

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The Pacific octopus’ range extends through the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Alaska and south to Baja California. Adept hunters, they ambushes prey using a sophisticated camouflage system that allows their pigments, muscle fibers, and nerves to assume the color of their immediate surrounding. While 50 pounds is a typical weight for the species, the heaviest Pacific octopus ever recored weighed 200 pounds and measured more than 20 feet across.