Underwater octopus city discovered by biologists

The city of Atlantis might just be a myth, but a new underwater metropolis may now be emerging.

Now referred to as Octlantis, this underwater town off the coast of Australia hosts many members of the Octopus tetricus species, more commonly known as the gloomy octopus. Octlantis is home to as many as 15 of these creatures who were once thought to only gather during mating.

Researchers have observed them communicating, cohabiting, and even teaming up together to keep unwanted sea creatures away. Researcher David Scheel tells Quartz that, "these behaviors are the product of natural selection” and that “when the right conditions occur, evolution may produce very similar outcomes in diverse groups of organisms."

For all its merits though, this underwater village of sand and shells is far from a Utopia.  The high number of octopuses and the abundance of food in the area makes it an ideal hunting ground for predators.  So while Octlantis may sound like an underwater paradise, it's still survival of the fittest. 

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Australia's ecology
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Australia's ecology
"Incoming" -- joint 3rd in the Beneath Southern Skies category.

IMAGE: NATHAN EMERY

"New Horizons" — 2nd in the Beneath Southern Skies category.

IMAGE: NATHAN EMERY

"Museum restoration" — 1st in Out Standing in the Field.

IMAGE: SUE JAGGAR.

"From deep within" — 3rd in Niches and Hollows.

IMAGE: JANNICO KELK

"Elise Furlan eDNA testing" — 2nd in Out Standing in the Field.

IMAGE: CHARLES DAVIS

"The ascent" — finalist in Niches & Hollows.

IMAGE: CHARLES DAVIS

"Guthega Wombat — finalist in Niches & Hollows.

IMAGE: CHARLES DAVIS

"Eucalypt galaxy" — overall winner.

IMAGE: RICHARD DIMON

"Spider Walk" — joint 3rd in Beneath Southern Skies.

IMAGE: JUDY DUNLOP

"Hitch'in a ride" — 2nd Niches & Hollows.

IMAGE: JANNICO KELK

"Antennae of the sinister moth" — 1st in Niches & Hollows.

IMAGE: ROBBI BISHOP-TAYLOR

"Temporary rock hole refuge in the desert" — 1st in When No-one's Watching, for remote cameras.

IMAGE: SHERIDAN MARTIN.

"Karatha Coast River System" — finalist in Beneath Southern Skies.

IMAGE: HAYLEY ANDERSON

"Mining, mating, declines and regeneration" — finalist in Niches & Hollows.

IMAGE: RICHARD WYLIE

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