Aquarium octopus could be a record breaker


An octopus at an aquarium in New Zealand may have set a new speed record for opening a jar.

Ozymandias (Ozy) the octopus has been a resident of the Island Bay Marine Education Centre in Wellington since November after he was brought in by fishermen. One of his arms had been badly damaged, possibly due to an attack by a Conger eel. However, the injury has healed well and shows around 5cm/2" of re-growth.

Described by staff at the centre as "precocious", Ozy has been given plenty to do to keep him stimulated. This includes giving him jars to undo to get at the tasty snack located inside.

However, according to a report in the Marlborough Express, the speedy octopus managed to complete this particular task in just 54 seconds on Sunday — an accomplishment witnessed by more than 60 people.

This is the first time an octopus at the centre has managed the task in under a minute, and staff now wonder if it's a record. There isn't anything official when it comes to an octopus opening jars, but scientific literature tends to quote 'fast workers' at around the two-minute mark.

The Island Bay Marine Education Centre plans to release Ozy back into the wild soon, so by keeping him challenged and stimulated during his stay, staff hope he will be more ready to return to his normal life, where he will have to catch his own dinner.

The Island Bay Marine Education Centre is a not-for-profit, education facility operated by Wellington Marine Conservation Trust.

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