|smarty pants photo|
Scientists have taught them to run mazes, open jars and small doors, and distinguish shapes, colors, and textures. Captive octopuses recognize specific people (wild ones, too, become friendly with certain divers) and often endear themselves to their keepers. One clever octopus slithered out of its tank at night, ate fish in a nearby aquarium, and then returned to its own tank--confounding the researcher who repeatedly discovered an apparently undisturbed and yet empty fish aquarium.
Captain Rob, an Alaskan fisherman who posts on YouTube, found an octopus in a shrimp trap (it had not only eaten shrimp, it had unscrewed the bait jar and snacked on the shrimp-bait pellets!). In recognition of the creature's "intelligence and genius," states the fisherman, he allowed the mollusk to find its way off the ship to freedom--and filmed it so we could also watch the octopus escape.