How Octopuses React to Different Kinds of Music

Will Octopuses React to Music

In response to a viewer’s question about music, the folks at Octolab temporarily took Arnold the Octopus away from his beloved barrel and set him in an empty tank. Another octopus named Liza was put into a separate tank. A speaker was put between the two and they set about gauging the response of each cephalopod to recordings of music from a wide variety of categories and styles.

In today’s video, we’ll be taking a look at whether or not an octopus will react to music. The music is played through an underwater speaker and recorded. We used the original underwater music in the playback to ensure perfect timing. This is a request from viewer “Original Badguy”.

While some of the music appeared to be lost on both Arnold and Liza, the tunes that got the most reaction from either or both were either classical, atmospherical or had a really strong bass line. During one such song, Arnold did his best to find the source of the comforting beat.

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.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.