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Curious Octopus Led Scuba Diver To An Artificial Reef Where She Made a Mind-Blowing Discovery

This Maori octopus wanted to show her diver buddy a special spot under the ocean and it is not what anyone would expect to see.
PUBLISHED JUN 1, 2024
Cover Image Source: Instagram | @onebreathdiver
Cover Image Source: Instagram | @onebreathdiver

At a time when human-animal conflict and the impact of human activity on coral reefs are major concerns, some stories of connections between individuals and other species come as a ray of hope. In 2021 the Oscar-winning documentary "My Octopus Friend" documented the friendship between a filmmaker and an octopus. Like him, Australian scuba driver and award-winning photographer Jules Casey has also captured countless mesmerizing encounters with sea creatures in film over the years. From recording a female seahorse transferring her eggs to a male seahorse's pouch, while she was freediving, to showing a bond between an octopus and a puffer fish, Casey has captured a lot of fascinating phenomena underwater. But her encounter with a huge Maori octopus led to the discovery of something that left Casey and her audience equally speechless.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pia B
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pia B

On April 5, 2024, Casey shared a few snaps of the octopus on her Instagram account @onebreathdiver. "This huge Maori Octopus wanted to show me something he had found. He reached his arm out to me as if asking me to follow him. So I followed him to this location and I was a little shocked at what he wanted to show me. It was a headstone with a picture of a young man holding a small white dog," the caption alongside the Instagram reel read. The plaque on the sunken shrine read "Lorenz."

Image Source: Instagram | @onebreathdiver
Image Source: Instagram | @onebreathdiver

Then she shared some follow-up videos she titled "A Date With An Octopus." Casey posted a second video where she wrote how the octopus led her to the plaque of the young man and his dog and she eventually stumbled upon "a few metal pickets in a line, spaced 5 meters apart." "Then slowly the beginnings of a trail which included a few statues, appeared. Over the next few weeks more metal pickets were added, then pipes. The trail looped around not far from the starting point," Casey further wrote. "The artificial reef is called Lorenz's Loop, built as a dedication to the man in the picture, Lorenz."

Casey decided to look up information about the man and his dog and she found that the man made the artificial reef in the Mornington Peninsula. “I couldn’t believe it. But he showed me a little map he’d drawn of the structures in a loop for his friend Lorenz who’d passed away," she told the outlet. “It’s such another world down there. When you immerse yourself in that environment and it invites you in like this, it’s incredible. It’s so addictive.” Casey mentioned that things like these happen more during the mating season of the octopuses when they are very curious and they reach out to interact with humans as well.

Image Source: Instagram | @onebreathdiver
Image Source: Instagram | @onebreathdiver

According to iNaturalist, Maori octopuses are found in New Zealand and it is one of the largest species of octopus in the southern hemisphere. This species has a short lifespan of about 12 to 18 months during which they breed once and the female lays about 7,000 eggs. Female octopuses are known to be great mothers to their offspring because the octopus doesn't eat much and ensures the eggs are always supervised during the incubation period. Less food means octopuses produce less waste to provide a higher water quality for the eggs. After the eggs hatch, the female octopus swims away and probably dies after being weakened from guarding the eggs.


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Jules Casey (@onebreathdiver)


 

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