Seaeye - Press Release - December 19, 2005
GIANT OCTOPUS ATTACKS ROV
A giant pacific octopus attacked a Seaeye Falcon ROV working off Vancouver Island as it was locating and recovering receivers tracking pacific offshore salmon migration.
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The incident was caught on the ROV's video by Mike Wood of SubOceanic Sciences Canada. He had just located a data recorder and taken a grip of the cable with the ROV's manipulator arm, when suddenly an 80 lb octopus launched an attack.
With tentacles 'as thick as man's arm' and a bite that he believed can exert 1000 lbs pressure, Mike Wood feared the octopus would bite the camera cable or umbilical and trip out the Falcon ROV.
Not wanting to lose the receiver that he had just located he decided to take on the creature and after tightening his grip of the cable with the manipulator arm, revved the ROV's thrusters in reverse in an attempt to blast seabed particles at the creature. For a moment the octopus appeared to intensify its attack with its mantle flared but eventually the swirling fragments drove it away.
The giant pacific octopus, octopus dofleini, is the largest species of octopods and although it grows to an average weight of 50 to 90 lbs with a span of 16 ft, a monster 600 lbs one has been recorded. They are intelligent creatures who can negotiate mazes and learn to unscrew jars to remove food. No problem disassembling an ROV then.
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