Author Options:

Octopus in a box Answered

On March 5th at the New England Aquarium octopus exhibit, a 7-foot long giant Pacific octopus climbed inside of a 15 inch-inch-wide box. The box was part of a set of acrylic puzzles that the aquarium uses to challenge the octopi during feeding time to keep them stimulated. Normally, the octopus opens the boxes sequentially to solve the puzzle and get its dinner. Last week however, the octopus found a crack in the largest box and rather than opening it, decided that it would crawl right inside.

Aquarist Bill Murphy elaborates...

What are the boxes made out of?
The boxes are made of acrylic and were created by one of our long time volunteers in the fishes department.

How many boxes are there?
There are 3 different size boxes with different locks that are puzzles for the octopus to open.

How do they work?
I place one or two live crabs inside the box and the octopus has to learn how to open the box to get the food. I start the octopus off with the small box and once he has mastered the lock I switch to another box and once he has mastered each individual box I put a box inside a box to keep him active and challenged.

What happened today?
The largest box was actually broken by another octopus here at the aquarium three years ago so today the octopus decided to go through that broken opening instead of unlocking the large outside box to get to smaller box inside with the live crabs. This is the first time it has been witnessed here at the aquarium because they don't always open the box immediately and will wait till the night when they are more active to hunt for food. It's been a very fun occasion for visitors and staff!

If octopi could live longer on land, we'd be their slaves for sure.

Via New England Aquarium



in my science class we watched a video about how these octopi and sharks were in the same tank, (I dont know why) and the sharks kept disapearing. they set up a video camera and found out the octopus was hunting the sharks down and eating them. that would be a good ending to a shark movie.

I wonder if R'lyeh is just a enormous acrylic box.

Nope. It's made of green-black rock with iridescent gold flecks, which no minerologist is able to identify. ;)

Its what I would be doing if I lived in a tiny aquarium for years and years...

Any 7 foot octopus can fit inside a 15 inch box but the real feat is being able to open the little box from inside the big box. Did he open the little box or just get stuck?

did it get out? or is it still in cube form?

LOL. I was at that aquarium like the week before this happened...


9 years ago

Hahahaha, silly octopus. :P

nothing was said about trix tho....im confused....does it have to do w/ lamas?

Please stop spamming the forums. :-|

It was kind of on topic. Silly octopus, silly rabbit, trix...

Oooo, shippable calamari :-)

eh, that is squid, I was thinking more along the lines of タコ箱の (Box of Octopus) for sushi.

meh, depends on the company or the person you ask ;-) . Octopus, squid, cuttlefish, and other cephalopods; whatever, eh?


9 years ago

Wow what an amazing animal. I didn't realize they were so intelligent.

I want one even more now!!

Buy that one, he's already packed for shipping !

Hahaha, stoopid octopus . I'm going to make an acrylic box se when the invade the land he will climb right in !

The Octopus is smart. Join it in the tank and it'd have you...


Lets see some guy calling himself smart skip undoing a lock and just squeeze in :P

i can see how it would get out of the box through a little crack in a box its an invertebrate! its like when you suck a block of jello up a straw and pops back into a block in the other end