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