Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Bizarre News

Inky the octopus legs it from New Zealand aquarium

LONDON — It was an audacious nighttime escape.

After busting through an enclosure, the nimble contortionist quietly crossed the floor, slithered through a narrow drain hole about six inches in diameter and jumped into the sea. Then he disappeared without a trace.

This was no Houdini, but rather a common New Zealand octopus called Inky, about the size of a soccer ball.

The breakout at the National Aquarium of New Zealand in Napier, which has captured the imagination of New Zealanders and made headlines around the world, apparently began when Inky slipped through a small gap at the top of his tank.

Octopus tracks suggest he then scampered eight feet across the floor and slid down a 164-foot-long drainpipe that dropped him into Hawke's Bay, on the east coast of North Island, according to reports in New Zealand's news media.

The aquarium's keepers noticed the escape when they came to work and discovered that Inky was not in his tank. A less independence-minded octopus, Blotchy, remained behind.

The aquarium's manager, Rob Yarrall, told Radio New Zealand that employees had searched the aquarium's pipes after discovering Inky's trail, to no avail.

The escape happened several months ago, but only recently came to light. "He managed to make his way to one of the drain holes that go back to the ocean, and off he went," Yarrall said. "Didn't even leave us a message."

Inky's escape surprised few in the world of marine biology, where octopuses are known for their strength, dexterity and intelligence.

Alix Harvey, an aquarist at the Marine Biological Association in England, noted that octopuses, members of a class of marine animals including squid and cuttlefish called Cephalopoda, have shown themselves to be adept at escaping through spaces as small as a coin, constrained only by their beaks, the only inflexible part of their bodies.

Harvey said that octopuses had also been documented opening jars and sneaking through tiny holes on boats, and that they could deflect predators by spraying an ink that lingers in the water and acts as a decoy. Some have been seen hauling coconut shells to build underwater shelters.

"Octopuses are fantastic escape artists," she said. "They are programmed to hunt prey at night and have a natural inclination to move around at night."

She continued, "They have a complex brain, have excellent eyesight, and research suggests they have an ability to learn and form mental maps."

Harvey recalled one wily octopus at a British aquarium that escaped nightly from his tank, slithered to a nearby tank to snack on fish for dinner and returned home.

Octopuses' intelligence, she said, was partly an evolutionary response to their habitation in complex environments such as coral reefs, in which the animals need to hide from predators and sneak up on their prey.

Inky is not the first octopus to attract the spotlight. In the summer of 2010, Paul, an octopus in Germany, gained worldwide attention when he appeared to correctly pick the winning team in all seven of Germany's games at the World Cup in South Africa — a feat that inspired a song. He has been immortalized in Oberhausen, Germany, with a six-foot plastic replica of him clutching a soccer ball.

Comments
Michael Jackson’s elephant escapes enclosure at Florida zoo

Michael Jackson’s elephant escapes enclosure at Florida zoo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — An elephant that once lived at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch briefly escaped its enclosure at a Florida zoo.The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens posted on Facebook that Ali the bull elephant wandered through a gate that was ...
Published: 06/18/18
Clarinetist discovers his ex-girlfriend faked a rejection letter from his dream school

Clarinetist discovers his ex-girlfriend faked a rejection letter from his dream school

Eric Abramovitz was 7 years old when he first learned to play the clarinet. By the time he was 20, the Montreal native had become an award-winning clarinetist, studying with some of Canada’s most elite teachers and performing a solo with Quebec’s fin...
Published: 06/15/18
WATCH: Windy day sends porta-potties flying through the air

WATCH: Windy day sends porta-potties flying through the air

Intense gusts of wind in a Colorado city sent two porta-potties careening into the air, spraying liquid onto people running and huddling for cover below.The original video, posted by Gabriel Flores to Facebook Monday, shows debris whirling through th...
Published: 06/15/18
Drunk teen gets head stuck in exhaust pipe during country music festival

Drunk teen gets head stuck in exhaust pipe during country music festival

A 19-year-old girl from Litchfield, Minn., spent 45 minutes with her head wedged inside of a tailpipe on Friday — then became a viral video star.After enjoying a few drinks at the Winstock Country Music Festival in Winsted, Kaitlyn Strom decided to s...
Published: 06/14/18
St. Paul raccoon reaches roof after scaling downtown tower

St. Paul raccoon reaches roof after scaling downtown tower

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A raccoon that became an internet sensation by scaling a 25-story office tower in downtown St. Paul was safely trapped early Wednesday, and animal control officials were preparing to release it back into the wild.Chelsey DeMers...
Published: 06/13/18
A raccoon is scaling the side of a tall skyscraper, and it’s incredibly stressful

A raccoon is scaling the side of a tall skyscraper, and it’s incredibly stressful

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un captivated the world on Tuesday morning with a historic summit that seemed to lower the prospect of a devastating global war. Not long after, a Minnesota raccoon captured some of the attentio...
Published: 06/12/18
WATCH: Man survives after crash sends him flying out of windshield on Florida Turnpike

WATCH: Man survives after crash sends him flying out of windshield on Florida Turnpike

A video showing a man being ejected through the windshield of a car on the Florida turnpike was released by the Florida Highway Patrol on Monday.The man survived, as did four other people who were in the car.The video shows the toll booth on the Flor...
Published: 06/11/18
‘This world is a better place without her’: A family’s savage final send-off to their mother

‘This world is a better place without her’: A family’s savage final send-off to their mother

The obituary is short and decidedly unsweet, a grand total of 105 words spread over five increasingly savage paragraphs.It starts with the birth of Kathleen Dehmlow (nee Schunk) in the winter of 1938 and her marriage to Dennis Dehmlow 19 years later,...
Published: 06/05/18
Florida man charged with giving inmates pot-soaked documents

Florida man charged with giving inmates pot-soaked documents

MIAMI — A Florida man is charged with selling prison inmates around the country fake legal documents that had been soaked in a synthetic form of marijuana so the inmates could get high after eating them.The Miami Herald reports that prosecutors say 4...
Updated one month ago
Video of a woman shaving her legs in a public hotel pool grossed the internet out

Video of a woman shaving her legs in a public hotel pool grossed the internet out

A video that is sure to make you think twice before taking a dip in a public pool has gone viral, redefining what many people would consider personal hygiene. The cringe-inducing video was posted to Reddit two days ago and depicts a woman sitting on ...
Updated one month ago