Inky the clever Octopus

This story about an octopus named Inky is endearing on so many levels. Inky reminds us once again how much we do not know about the cleverness, emotions and thoughts of animals. Inky also reminds us that when given the choice, as I have written about before, animals will always choose the wild over captivity.

Read on to be perplexed, amused, and beguiled, all feelings and thoughts I have no doubt we share with the amazing Inky the octopus.


Note: Below excerpt taken from article written by Dan Bilefsky for the NY Times, April 13, 2016

It was an audacious nighttime escape.

After busting through an enclosure, the nimble contortionist appears to have quietly crossed the floor, slithered through a narrow drain hole about six inches in diameter and jumped into the sea. Then he disappeared.

This was no Houdini, but rather a common New Zealand octopus called Inky, about the size of a soccer ball.

The breakout at the National Aquarium of New Zealand in Napier, apparently began when Inky slipped through a small gap at the top of his tank.

Octopus tracks suggest he then scampered eight feet across the floor and slid down a 164-foot-long drainpipe that dropped him into Hawke’s Bay, on the east coast of North Island, according to reports in New Zealand’s news media.

The aquarium’s keepers noticed the escape when they came to work and discovered that Inky was not in his tank. A less independence-minded octopus, Blotchy, remained behind.

The aquarium’s manager, Rob Yarrall, said he “Didn’t even leave us a message.”
Inky’s escape surprised few in the world of marine biology, where octopuses are known for their strength, dexterity and intelligence.


One octopus at a British aquarium escaped nightly from his tank, slithered to a nearby tank to snack on fish for dinner, and went home.

Inky is not the first octopus to attract the spotlight. In the summer of 2010, Paul, an octopus in Germany, gained worldwide attention when he appeared to correctly pick the winning team in all seven of Germany’s games at the World Cup in South Africa — a feat that inspired a song. He has been immortalized in Oberhausen, Germany, with a six-foot plastic replica of him clutching a soccer ball.

Read the entire article here.

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6 Replies to “Clever Octopus Takes Himself Back Home”

  1. i saw this and was happy for the octopus. I hope he is happy too although he is going to have to get his own breakfast again.

  2. Go Inky! I would love to have seen this take place. Imagine watching an octopus climb out of his tank and walk across the floor. haha.

  3. Love the Inky story…..seeing these guys(and the other fishy friends) here at the Monterey Aquarium has opened my eyes to another aspect of the amazing world out there and how little we know about it…keep the stories coming!

  4. Hi Bobby,
    Nice to hear from you. I love and agree with your comment about “how little we know” about our amazing world especially when it comes to animals. And the fact that we are destroying our little known about world at a rate unprecedented in history is the sad news.

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