Octopus Inky Escapes From Aquarium In An Impossible Way

Octopus Inky escapes from New Zealand National Aquarium in an impossible way. He escapes by removing the lid of his tank, crawling across the floor, squeezing himself into a narrow pipe, and escaping into the ocean. Rob Yarrell, national manager of the National Aquarium of New Zealand in Napier, said: “Octopuses are famous escape artists. But Inky really tested the waters here. I don’t think he was unhappy with us, or lonely, as octopuses are solitary creatures. But he is such a curious boy. He would want to know what’s happening on the outside. That’s just his personality.”

‘Octopuses are famous escape artists’

Octopus Inky
Image credit: National Aquarium of New Zealand

When Inky’s disappearance was discovered, Yarrell and his team were able to figure out his escape route by following the wet trail he left behind. Apparently, Inky had managed to move the lid of his enclosure, slid three or four meters across the aquarium floor and then, sensing freedom was close, into a 50-meter-long (165 ft) drainpipe leading directly into the sea.

An annotated photo series showing how Inky escaped from his tank and into the sea through a drainpipe

Octopus Inky
Photo: National Aquarium, New Zealand

“When we came in the next morning and his tank was empty, I was really surprised,” said Yarrell, who added they had not launched a search for Inky. ”The staff and I have been pretty sad. But then, this is Inky, and he’s always been a bit of a surprise octopus.”

Octopuses are able to fit into extremely small spaces, they have no bones

The video above shows how an octopus might be able to fit into extremely small spaces.

They are also known to be extremely intelligent and capable of using tools. And Inky was an “unusually intelligent” octopus, according to Yarrell.

“None of this is surprising or atypical of octopus behavior,” James Wood, a marine biologist, said of Inky’s successful breakout. “Octopuses are amazing animals, they’re very intelligent.”

Wood has known octopuses that have broken out of sealed observation containers and closed aquariums. He said an octopus in Bermuda escaped multiple times to eat the inhabitants of nearby aquariums.

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National manager of the National Aquarium of New Zealand Rob Yarrell says ‘You never know, there’s always a chance Inky could come home to us’