Not much is known about this elusive member of the cephalopod family. But the little bit of information we have gleaned makes one thing very clear: It might just be the freakiest—and coolest—creature ever to swim the ocean depths.
No, this isn’t a Batman impersonator that fell into a vat of toxic waste. It’s called a blanket octopus, and it gets its name from the distinctive membrane that spans between its arms.
But this isn’t a blanket you’d want to wrap yourself up in. The membrane is actually similar in texture and consistency to the webbing between a frog’s toes, only the blanket octopus uses it as a defense mechanism.
When faced with a potential predator, it expands its “blanket” to appear larger, frightening away its pursuer.
But that’s not the only trick it has up its sleeve. This octopus is actually immune to the toxins inside the Portuguese man o’ war, and will actually rip off that creatures deadly tentacles…and use them as weapons.
The female grows up to be up to 6.5 feet long. But the males are only about 1 inch long at full maturity. And no, that’s not a typo.
This could make mating…tricky. Luckily, the males store their sperm inside one of their arms. During mating, this arm detaches to impregnate the female. The male dies (presumably happily) not long thereafter.
They almost look like sea ghosts.
Watching them in action is mesmerizing…and a bit haunting!