Walking and carrying coconuts are two things that people do not expect octopi to do, and yet there is a video circulating around the internet of an octopus doing just that. In the video, you can see one of these eight-limbed sea-dwelling creatures casually walking across the ocean floor with the two coconut shell halves.
Although it appears to be traveling with such a load without a purpose, the fact is that this octopus has a plan. Like other octopi that have been documented doing the same thing, this animal will bring the coconut shells with it and use them for shelter if it is going through an area where there is not a lot of natural protection, proving both that octopi use tools and that they can problem-solve.
Scientists say this behavior is the first evidence of tool use by an octopus, putting the aquatic animals in a league with a small number of other animals known to do the same.
Interestingly, this incredible finding was nearly lost to science within moments after being discovered. Julian Finn, a researcher from the Victoria Museum in Australia, who was among the first scientists to have witnessed this behavior first hand, was so impressed by what he observed — it nearly killed him.
“I almost drowned laughing when I saw this the first time,” Finn told the BBC. “I could tell it was going to do something, but I didn’t expect this — I didn’t expect it would pick up the shell and run away with it.”