Scientists want to call this octopus 'adorabilis'. We can think of some other great names, too.

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated 18 June 2015

It’s not often that people gush over the sight of an octopus. But with the arrival of a newly discovered species on the scene that’s, quite frankly, adorable — perhaps it’s time these fascinating creatures are seen in a new light.

One look at this little guy — who has already been compared to cartoon and video game characters — and is it any wonder that the scientist who discovered his species wants to name it “Opistoteuthis adorabilis"?

The ‘adorabilis’ new octopus has been compared to the ‘Ghost’ character in PacMan, and ‘Pearl’ from Finding Nemo.

With his tiny little legs and big brown eyes, there’s no denying that he could be the new posterboy for the eight-legged folk everywhere. But there is so much more to octopuses than their good looks.


Octopuses are some of the world’s most fascinating and complex creatures … and in recent years, many of ‘adorabilis’s kind have been making waves of their own, as scientists scratch the surface of the species some call “the Einstein of the invertebrate world".

Here’s some of the names that could be given to octopuses — if only all of them were named after their endearing qualities:

Amphioctopus ‘Resourcefulatus’ (or ‘Tool-using coconut octopus’):

Move over, Macgyver. When it comes to being resourceful, the ‘coconut octopus’ takes the cake … and the coconut shell. These clever creatures will use discarded shells as a kind of portable ‘fortress’ — and will manipulate their acquired armour and carry it with them to reassemble and use as a shelter. According to a paper published in Current Biology,

[PLUGIN type="quotation" quote="The discovery of this octopus tiptoeing across the sea floor with its prized coconut shells suggests that even marine invertebrates engage in behaviours that we once thought the preserve of humans."]

Thaumoctopus ‘Spectacularus’ (or ‘Mimic octopus’):

Apologies in advance if this video blows your mind. The ability of these octopuses to impersonate a diverse range of other marine animals not only earned them the name of ‘mimic octopus’ — but it seems to have outsmarted the baffled scientists who study these incredible animals.

"You’ll get three or four divers together and you’ll argue all night about what you think it was mimicking … you couldn’t get a more spectacular animal."
- Mark Norman, first scientist to study the ‘Mimic Octopus’

Hapalochlaena ‘Cleverata’ (or ‘Octi’):

Next time you need a helping hand opening a stubborn jar, Octi the Octopus just might be your girl. Her ability to remove a twisted cap from a bottle might seem simple, but this task would be impossible for many other animals. Octopuses’ highly sensitive tentacles enable them to hold and manipulate objects, just as the human hand would. Their unique anatomy coupled with an amazing problem-solving ability makes light work of a screw-cap container!

"She seems to know when she’s playing and when she’s not. A lot of people don’t realise octopuses are very intelligent. They are observant and extremely interactive."
- Rob Yarrall, Manager Napier Aquarium

The ocean can sometimes be a scary place for sea animals. Too often, too many of these unique and complex creatures are left just outside our circle of compassion — and suffer immeasurably as a result. We know that fish experience fear and stress, crustaceans feel pain, and octopuses can be playful and mischievous. Yet fishing affects more individual animals — trillions each year — than any other animal-based industry.

Learn just how easy it is to help sea animals by discovering how to live cruelty-free — and if you’re yet to hit your cuteness peak today, then check out this video of the world’s most ‘adorabilis’ kid and octopus advocate, three year old Luiz Antonio: