Quick-Witted Octopus Steals Man's Catch and Escapes to Tell the Tale

The octopus isn't a dumb pet goldfish that does nothing but eat stinky flakes of fish food. Studies have shown that octopuses can learn, solve problems, process complex information, and have even been shown to play with toys. With more than half a billion neurons -- a typical mollusk has around 20,000 -- it's closer to a bird or mammal intellectually. 

That's how this impressive giant Pacific octopus managed to outwit a fisherman's crab trap on the BBC's Super Smart Animals. The mononymous fisherman Steve drops a crab trap into the Pacific Ocean outside Vancouver and proceeds to work on a cup of coffee. Under the water, stupid crabs are getting their stupid brains trapped by the aggressively simple trap Steve has laid. 

But this crab-chomping octopus isn't fooled by crabs or by Steve's trap. The octopus is seen problem-solving, finding a way into the trap and managing to escape before Steve reels in a cephalopod he didn't intend to snare. 

Crabs are a regular part of the octopus diet. They use their beaks to break open the hard shell of the crab and presumably slurp it up like a bib-wielding customer at Red Lobster. It happens all over the world, like the below video from National Geographic that shows an octopus chasing a crab off the shore of Australia. 

That stupid crab never had a chance. 

h/t Digg

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Dustin Nelson is a News Writer with Thrillist. He holds a Guinness World Record but has never met the fingernail lady. Follow him @dlukenelson.