(Mirror Daily, United States) – While studying octopuses living near New South Wales, researchers from Alaska Pacific University made an incredible discovery. It seems that these creatures couldn’t stand a solitary life, so they built an elaborate colony resembling a city. Scientists were impressed by this ‘administrative’ organization, and nicknamed it Octlantis.
The complex sand-and-shell formation is nicknamed Octlantis
Previous theories suggested octopuses are loners, and spend most of their lives in isolation. However, this new discovery proves the old theories wrong. In fact, this complex octopus city is not far away from an area where researchers saw octopuses gathering for fights. This area was called Octopolis, and was first discovered in 2009.
The research team was amazed to discover 15 octopuses getting together, communicating, and spending time with each other. To preserve their colony, they put up intricate dens, built from seashells and sand, and this formation received the name Octlantis. The octopus city is quite big, as it measures 18×4 meters, and is placed at a depth of 10 or 15 meters below sea level.
Scientists couldn’t explain how octopuses came to inhabit the sand dens
Researchers also noticed how Octlantis is quite exclusive. It serves as a shelter only for the 15 octopuses observed at first. If any other creature, be it another octopus or a different species, tried to enter the dens, the inhabitants chased it away.
Given the previous theories on octopuses, such a behavior might seem peculiar. However, researchers think they went on to become more social as a result of natural selection. Also, these creatures might have begun communicating a long time ago, but this is the first complex social formation ever observed by humans.
Octopolis was probably formed as a fighting arena when octopuses found a piece of metal on the bottom of the sea, and started fighting for it. However, researchers found no such object near Octlantis, so the purpose behind such a formation must have been different.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons