Curious Octopus Investigates His Reflection in Mirror

Arnold the barrel-loving, puzzle-solving octopus who lives at Octolab, was presented with a mirror inside his tank. Arnold at first didn’t appear to know what was happening, but he stretched his magnificent body all the way out and went to investigate. Although Arnold saw another octopus, he couldn’t get to it, despite many tries to get behind the looking glass.

It’s always fun running mirror tests. Watching animals react to themselves in a mirror is fascinating. Octopus mirror tests provide a lot of insight on the intelligence of this magnificent creature.

It’s unclear if Arnold understood that this was his reflection, but after a while he decided he preferred his beloved barrel over anything else anyway.

In a previous mirror test, Another octopus had a very different and very angry response.

As he watches his own reflection, the “other octopus” mimics his actions. It’s on at this point and he attacks the mirror. He quickly realizes that something isn’t right leaving our angry octopus very confused.

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. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.