How a Common Octopus Reacts to Different Colors

A little Octopus Vulgaris named Cliff who lives at Octolab (previously) was respectively presented with a number of colored cloths so his caretakers could see how he responded. Cliff immediately reacted to the orange cloth.

Cliff the Octopus Orange Cloth

Cliff seemed okay with the red, purple and blue cloth and was a little reticent with the black cloth, but something about the green cloth that caused Cliff to retreat into the corner of his tank.

Cliff the Octopus Green Cloth

Researchers had previously thought that octopuses were colorblind. This thinking has since been rectified.

For a while, there were theories that octopuses were color-blind. These conclusions were primarily driven by the differences in the way that photoreceptive cells are arranged in the eyes of octopuses compared to the eyes of vertebrates. …In watching the full video you will notice that Cliff reacts rapidly and aggressively to the orange cloth. It is difficult to identify if he does so out of aggression or out of a genuine appeal for the color orange.

Cliff seems to shy away and recoil from the green cloth. That is why it was tested twice.

Octolab is a research facility that seeks to learn more about these incredible creatures by observing their behavior in a variety of situations. Each and every cephalopod in their care has been rescued from a fisherman’s catches and saved from an otherwise horrific fate.

At no point do we place any of our animals in harm’s way. Our priority is, always has been, and will always be the well-being and health of our octopuses. …All of the eight-armed friends who are part of the Octolab project were rescued from the catch of fishermen. Their fate would have been gruesome otherwise. Quite literally they would have been smashed on the rocks while still alive to “tenderize” them and then hung to dry in the sun before being sold to local seafood restaurants and markets.