Hundreds were shocked after what looked like a normal rock in the shallows of the Noosa River in Queensland was actually an octopus in disguise.
A mum and her son spotted what was later identified as a Mimic Octopus and alerted wildlife rescuers as they suspected it was sick. By the time rescuers arrived the creature had very convincingly disguised itself as a rock.
‘There are around 300 octopus’ species in the world, with many able to blend into their surrounds, but the Mimic takes things to the next level,’ charity Wildlife Noosa said.
They shared footage as the ‘mystery’ animal came out of its camouflage, amazing hundreds.
A Noosa local Tracey and her son Jacob spotted the octopus along the banks of the river and called Wildlife Noosa to check on its health.
The organisation said it was ‘strange’ the octopus was so ‘out in the open’ with people and dogs walking so close by and making it vulnerable to predators.
By the time rescuers had arrived, the octopus had tucked its tentacles in and made itself look like an unassuming rock.
They used a metal pole to bring the animal closer to them so they could remove it from its potentially-dangerous position before it revealed it true identity.
Dozens were impressed by the ‘highly intelligent’ octopus’s camouflaging tactics.
‘Wow! What a beauty! I so hope it recovers,’ one woman said.
‘How beautiful is it??’ another added while some likened it to an ‘alien’.
Australia Zoo identified the creature as a Mimic Octopus and Wildlife Noosa took it to SEA LIFE Mooloolaba to be monitored.
‘The mimic has an impressive number of impersonations at its disposal. It can change its skin colour, texture, shape and behaviour to mimic animals such as eels, stingrays, jellyfish, crabs, seahorses and even venomous lionfish and sea snakes along with others,’ the post read.
‘It is highly intelligent and has the learning ability to adapt its mimicry in new environments. The Mimic Octopus remains a mystery to Science.’
It was apparently ‘uncommon’ for the ‘elusive’ creature to be found where it was.
‘It was strange behaviour for it to be out in the open, almost beached and very slow,’ a representative said in the clip’s comments.
After a ‘full assessment’ at SEA LIFE the octopus is being kept at the facility to be closely monitored and treated by the ‘best vets in the field’.
Vets still don’t know what is wrong with the octopus but it has started eating after resisting food for several days.
If SEA LIFE can nurse the animal back to health it will be released back into the river.