Giant octopus wrestles stunned diver
Two men were diving in Bluefish Cove off the coast of Point Lobos in Carmel when an enormous eight-legged sea creature emerged out of the murky ocean depths and tried to play tug-of-war.
A Giant Pacific Octopus spotted Warren Murray and David Malvestuto as they were swimming with a large (and very expensive) professional underwater camera 80 feet below the ocean's surface.
The octopus saw the divers before the divers saw it because the color-changing animal was perfectly camouflaged to match a pink and yellow rock.
The shy but very curious octopus wrapped all eight of its long legs around Murray's camera.
Malvestuto kept his camera rolling and recorded the incredible sight of Murray wrestling with the octopus. Experts said that such a sight is very rare for divers exploring this area.
Giant Pacific Octopuses have powerful suction cups dotting their legs, and they can grow up to 30 feet across. Marine biologists estimated this one was 20 feet wide, tentacle to tentacle.
The experienced divers stayed calm during the octo-tussle. Murray won the match when he flashed his camera's lights, causing the mollusk to let go.
Giant Pacific Octopus are agile, smart, and sneaky. The Monterey Bay Aquarium's website explains:
"Octopuses are very intelligent animals that can learn to open jars (and) play with toys. Giant Pacific Octopuses spend most of their lives alone. Scientists long thought that animals were unlikely to evolve intelligence unless they were social, so the octopus's clever, lonely life is something of a mystery."
... Maybe the Bluefish Cove octopus just wanted a friend?
"It's very rare to see that type of octopus in the 80 feet of water we were in," Malvestuto said, because they are usually found at depths between 200-600 feet.
Murray said he feels very lucky that an octopus, which are usually gentle and shy, took such a shining to him.
"My fellow divers are jealous and envious," Murray told KSBW. "My non-diving friends asked, 'Weren't you scared?' For me, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity."
Murray was also thankful Malvestuto did such a great job recording it, adding, "In the diving community we have a mantra: If you don't have a picture, it didn't happen."