A new paper suggests that octopuses are one of the many life forms on Earth that came from alien material from outer space. Other scientists are criticizing the theory for being false, but what is it about octopuses that makes them so fascinating that they're almost alien-like?
Octopus From Space?
A study published in the journal Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology captured the attention of many people of late because of its claims that many life forms on Earth may have come from cryopreserved eggs, seeds, and embryos that came to the planet via icy bodies from space. According to the researchers of the study, an example of this would be the octopuses whose genome they believe has cosmic origins.
This theory, however, is not really new, as the idea of life on Earth coming from space rocks has been around since the 1970's.
Why The Octopus?
"It is plausible then to suggest they seem to be borrowed from a far distant 'future' in terms of terrestrial evolution, or more realistically from the cosmos at large," researchers state, pertaining to the creatures' rather unique set of abilities as an example for why octopuses may have come from space. However, other scientists argue that the octopus' genome perfectly fit with the genetic makeup of life on Earth.
What's not up for debate, though, is just how fascinating these creatures are. In fact, it is their very uniqueness that likely what makes them such mysterious creatures and almost seem alien.
Intelligent And Ancient Octopuses
Octopuses are cephalopods that are related to squid and cuttlefish. They often live alone in all of the world's oceans, but marine biologists have recently discovered Octopolis and Octlantis, sites wherein octopuses live in groups and engage in complex social behaviors.
Octopuses are actually pretty old creatures as the oldest fossil record of an octopus-like creature, the Pohlsepia, is 296 million years old. This means that they already existed with eight arms and two eyes even before dinosaurs progressed on land.
Interestingly, Greek philosopher Aristotle believed that octopuses were rather dim. In his 350 BC writings, he described some of the octopus' strange behavior and calls them "stupid" because they approach a man's hand if it is lowered in the water.
Since then, it has been proven that octopuses are actually very intelligent creatures that can solve mazes, take things apart just for fun, and remember solutions. In fact, it was recently discovered that octopuses can even rewrite their own RNA in order to adapt to the environment.
Blue Blooded Creatures
Octopuses are actually blue-blooded creatures because they evolved to have copper-based blood in order to survive the deep ocean. This blood that they pump through their three hearts is actually more efficient at transporting oxygen when the water temperature is too low, and there is not a lot of oxygen.
Another interesting fact about octopuses is that over half of their neurons are actually in their arms and not their head, which means that while the octopus may be doing something with several arms, the others may also be busy with other tasks.
There's no saying exactly how intelligent these creatures are, but humans continue to learn about octopus intelligence and ingenuity, with many scientists even believing that they have individual personalities. For now, perhaps these escape artists and masters of disguise remain to be mysterious creatures that continue to fascinate people with their unique abilities that are really out of this world.