Turns Out 'Gloomy' Octopus Craves Socialization

Researchers discovered a new site that is the home to around 15 gloomy octopuses in the waters off the east coast of Australia. Peter Godfrey-Smith

You know how sometimes you feel like the least social creature on the planet and all you want to do is hide out at home, away from all human interaction? Well, the octopus could have served as your spirit animal. But alas, even the otherwise aloof eight-legged sea creature craves contact. And scientists now have proof that octopuses want to congregate and socialize, in an octopus kind of way.

According to a study published in the September edition of the journal Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology, the species Octopus tetricus (affectionately known as "the gloomy octopus") is a lot more social than previously thought. In fact, 10 to 15 of the creatures, which are usually seen hanging solo, were found "living at high density" at a rock outcrop in Australia's Jervis Bay near Sydney, according to the study.

And not only were the octopuses living close together, but they were exhibiting "complex social interactions," meaning they were communicating, fighting and even "evicting" unpopular group members and excluding others. Harsh.

According to The Guardian, marine biologists have already named this super exclusive octopus metropolis "Octlantis," a fitting name to sister site to "Octopolis," a nearby settlement discovered in 2009 where a bunch of octopus gathered around a large metal object.

But the residents of Octlantis couldn't care less about humans; after all, they've created a world all their own that measures about 60 feet by 13 feet (18 meters by 3.9 meters) and includes dens built of sand and shells. So not only are octopuses social and kind of cruel, they're also pretty crafty. Who knew?

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