April 22, 2021

Video: Diver Convinces Baby Octopus to Leave Plastic Cup Home in Exchange for a Shell

Water pollution has been steadily on the rise with researchers estimating that 14 billion pounds of trash are dumped into the ocean yearly. This staggering number is only expected to increase unless we change course and begin respecting our waters. One diver encountered what water pollution does firsthand after he crossed paths with a baby octopus using a plastic cup as a home.

Usually, these stories are heartbreaking, but this story about a resourceful octopus and a dedicated diver is actually uplifting – while still drawing awareness to the plastic pollution problem.

The video surfaced online showing scuba divers in Lembeh, Indonesia convincing a baby veined octopus to leave the unnatural (and unsafe) home he’d made in a plastic cup in exchange for a couple of seashells.

The divers were so dedicated to their mission that they almost ran out of air in the process!

Image credits: Pall Sigurdsson

The video took place in Lembeh, Indonesia, when a group of divers stumbled across the baby octopus. Pall Sigurdsson was diving when he saw the octopus crawl across the seabed with a cup as protection.

Not wanting him to get injured or killed, Sigurdsson started grabbing different sized seashells to persuade the little guy to leave his “home” for a new and improved one. Sigurdsson spoke with Bored Panda to explain how the events came to be.

Image credits: Pall Sigurdsson

“This was our third dive that day, and we were all starting to get a little bit tired. My dive buddy sent me a hand signal indicating that he had found an octopus and asked me to come over for help,” he said.

“I am no stranger to seeing octopi making homes out of trash. They are clever animals and use their environment to their advantage, and trash is a permanent part of their environment now,” continued Sigurdsson.

Image credits: Pall Sigurdsson

The team was so dedicated to helping the octopus that they almost ran out of air

Image credits: Pall Sigurdsson

He added: “However the octopus with its soft tentacles did not know that this cup offers virtually no protection, and in a competitive environment like the ocean, this cup was a guaranteed death sentence.”

Ironically, the divers spent most of their oxygen and dive time helping the baby octopus to find a shell it approved of. In the end, the diver was able to transition the little one out the cup and into a nice snug seashell.

Image credits: Pall Sigurdsson

Sigurdsson wants to bring light to issues such as the pollution of the oceans. “I try as hard as I can to make people see the ocean when it looks its best. Once I saw a family of anemonefish living next to a corroded battery. That was heartbreaking.”

Image credits: Pall Sigurdsson

They offered a number of shells until the veined octopus finally picked one

Image credits: Pall Sigurdsson

The oceans may not be cleaned overnight, but Sigurdsson is doing his part to help even if its one plastic cup at a time.

Image credits: Pall Sigurdsson

The adorable octopus almost forgot his other half of the shell

Image credits: Pall Sigurdsson

Image credits: Pall Sigurdsson

Here’s the full clip of Sigurdsson and his team persuading the octopus to switch “real estate”

Here’s how the people of the internet reacted to this feel-good video