8-Armed & Devious: Clever Octopus Escapes From New Zealand Aquarium

"He didn't even leave us a message."

04/13/2016 01:28 am ET

It's like "Prison Break" or "The Shawshank Redemption," except this escape story has an unlikely star: an octopus named Inky. 

The 8-armed wonder noticed that the lid to his enclosure at the National Aquarium of New Zealand was left slightly open after some maintenance work. So after hours, Inky slipped out, leaped onto the floor, crawled to a drainpipe and disappeared into the ocean, Radio New Zealand reported.

According to, Inky even left behind "octopus tracks," which exposed his escape route. The Guardian posted a sequence of images showing how he broke out.

The pipe was just 6 inches in diameter, but aquarium manager Rob Yarrall told Radio New Zealand that octopuses are flexible enough to squeeze through such tight confines.

"They can fit through very very small spaces, even quite a large octopus they can squeeze down to the size of their mouth which is the only really hard part of their body it's a beak, very much like a parrot beak," he was quoted as saying.

National Geographic posted a video in 2010 that showed how a large octopus could squeeze through a narrow pipe:


"[Inky] managed to make his way to one of the drain holes which go back to the ocean and off he went," Yarrall told Radio New Zealand. "And he didn't even leave us a message."

Inky was one of two octopuses at the aquarium. 

"Yes, it's most unusual and yes, we'll be watching the other one," Yarrall told Hawkes Bay Today.

The incident happened about three months ago, but was just made public this week.

Octopuses are known escape artists. Last year, an octopus at the Seattle Aquarium was caught on video trying to make a break for it. A 2014 clip showed one of the creatures fleeing from a boat. And in 2010, a viral video revealed how an octopus inside a jar figured out how to unscrew the lid and escape.


(h/t Mashable)


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