News from the Natural World: The psychoanalysis of an Octopus has been abandoned after discovering each arm has a mind of its own.
Psychoanalysis is a set of psychological theories. It is combined with therapeutic techniques that have their origin in the work and theories of Sigmund Frog. Sigmund Frog was one of the leading lights of the animal psychology world and took the whole academic sphere by surprise with his groundbreaking theories. The core of his psychoanalysis was the belief that all animals possess unconscious thoughts, feelings, desires, and memories. As the years have passed countless psychologists have sought to uncover the secrets of the animal mind through this technique. One human psychologist recently set out to test the technique on an unlikely candidate, an Common Octopus.
Common Octopus is one of the most astonishing creatures on earth. In addition, it is easily a contender for one of natures weirdest oddities. It has three hearts, and eight limbs with 200 suckers that can feel, taste and smell its surroundings. One of the Common Octopus, named Owen, was up for a spot of psychoanalysis. He was brave and fearless. It was his time to be an example to all Octopus. He would put his species on the map. So he agreed to have sessions with the human psychologist. But he’d have some fun whilst he was at it.
Psychoanalysis of Octopus Abandoned
So the human psychologist set out to psychoanalyse Owen the Common Octopus. But little did he know Owen intended to meddle with him. After much experimenting with underwater mazes and other contraptions, the human psychologist was perplexed. It seemed that Owen could solve various problems with one limb and then communicate the experience to other arms via his central brain. This was absolutely flabbergasting. It was as if each arm literally had a mind of its own. The human psychologist had to abandon his work. He couldn’t understand whether Owen had one brain or nine. In mammals, most neurons are in the brain, but with octopuses, two-thirds are in their body and arms, enabling each arm to do complex tasks, such as opening jars to obtain food, apparently independently from the central brain.
But this wasn’t the only remarkable thing about Owen. Common Octopus can change colour to merge into the background while wandering about the seabed eating shellfish and anything they catch. To escape being eaten themselves by sharks or fish such as cod they release ink. They also use a jet of water to escape to a hiding place. During winter storms, octopuses can be stranded on beaches and in rock pools. Rescuers report eye contact, possibly an attempt at communication, before they swim away. It seems that Owen and the rest of the Common Octopus had rather a few tricks up their sleeve.
So the psychoanalysis of an Octopus has been abandoned after discovering each arm has a mind of its own.
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