Octopuses broke from the evolutionary tree some 500 million years ago to become cognitive complex in a very special way. If we want to learn how other life forms might think, it may be wise to study the creature that is quite alien-like here on Earth – the octopus.
Not only do octopuses have the best camouflage strategies in the animal kingdom, but it’s as if their body composition came from another planet. While human fingertips typically have around 400 mechanical receptors, each sucker on an octopus has tens of thousands of chemical and mechanical receptors. Rather than a centralized brain, the octopus’ nervous system exists mainly in its arms and suckers.
The otherworldly octopus’ differences don’t stop there.