Waste products in the Earth’s oceans are a growing concern. Estimates put the amount in the trillions of pounds, with about 260,000 tons of that waste plastic alone. Not only are these materials a hazard to swallow, but sea life can also get caught up in them.
A tiny octopus shows up with an unconventional home
One little octopus took this pollution in stride, making himself a home of a plastic cup. When found by divers in Lembeh, Indonesia. They tried to convince him to swap out his plastic home for a real shell. The resulting video is hilarious as the divers offer a variety of options.
Pall Sigurdsson and his fellow divers were out looking for shells and photographing the local sea life when they came across the tiny octopus. Sigurdsson explained the situation in more detail in a Bored Panda interview:
“This was our third dive that day, and we were all starting to get a little bit tired. My dive buddy sent me a hand signal indicating that he had found an octopus and asked me to come over for help.”
Convincing the octopus to switch would turn out to be a major undertaking
Time after time, the team tried to convince the octopus to switch from its plastic cup to a real shell. But each time the baby octopus refused. The shell was either too big or too small. The team had gotten to the point that they would run out of air. Finally, the baby octopus settled on a shell. Now they just had to convince him to move.
The divers were able to finally convince the little guy to switch
As the octopus made the switch, it seemed to want to take the plastic cup with it to its new home. Eventually, though, the team was able to get the cup away from the little guy. Sadly, according to Sigurdsson, such trash is common 9in the oceans of the world.
“There are good days, and there are bad days depending on ocean currents. Some days, you see so much trash that it is almost impossible to film sea creatures without also including trash,” Sigurdsson said. “I try as hard as I can to make people see the ocean when it looks its best. Once I saw a family of anemonefish living next to a corroded battery. That was heartbreaking.”
Settling into his new home
As the octopus accepted its new home, it almost walked off without the top half of the shell. This would have left it vulnerable to predators. The tiny octopus is called a veined octopus and the species relies on shells or coconuts to protect themselves from predators.
The problem with waste in the world’s oceans
When talking about the amount of plastic in the ocean, Sigurdsson said that most people only see what is on the surface, but the problem is far worse. According to the diver, “Most trash (including plastic) sinks. Most people only talk about the parts that they can see. The part that floats, but that’s just scratching the surface of the problem. Plastic straws are a minuscule part of the problem.”
Fortunately, the divers were able to convince the tiny octopus to switch homes. This action helps to ensure it has a greater chance of survival. For Sigurdsson and his friends, it’s just a tiny step in fixing a bigger overall problem. Here is the video of the divers trying to convince this tiny octopus to switch homes.
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