The mimic octopus, Thaumoctopus mimicus, is a species of octopus that has a strong ability to mimic other creatures. It grows up to 60 cm (2 feet) in length. Its normal colouring consists of brown and white stripes or spots.
Living in the tropical seas of Southeast Asia, it was not discovered officially until 1998, off the coast of Sulawesi. The octopus mimics the physical likeness and movements of more than 15 different species, including sea snakes, lionfish, flatfish, brittle stars, giant crabs, sea shells, stingrays, flounders, jellyfish, sea anemones, and mantis shrimp. It accomplishes this by contorting its body and arms, and changing colour.
Although all octopuses can change colour and texture, and many can blend with the sea floor, appearing as rocks, the mimic octopus is the first octopus species ever observed to impersonate other animals…