Testing an Octopus’ Memory Over a Period of 15 Days

Arnold, the incredibly intelligent octopus at Octolab who cleared obstacles from his favorite barrel, squeezed through increasing smaller slots in a transparent wall and even performed a combination of both tasks, had his memory tested over the course of 15 days.

The test involved a transparent divider with four tubes on the other side. A fish was put into one of the tubes for Arnold to find. Each time, it appeared that Arnold remembered which tube held the desired goody. When there wasn’t a fish to find, Arnold still went to the tube that had previously held it. The results were inconclusive, but indicated how incredibly curious these cephalopods can be.

We ran this experiment for 15 days always placing the fish in the same tube to see if he would remember where he usually finds his snack. The octopus is a very curious animal and can’t resist poking around when he finds a hole. In many of the scenes you will notice he places multiple arms simultaneously in the holes. However, try to see if he is favoring a certain one.

Octolab also put together amusing footage showing how the octopuses in their care can always outsmart them in experiments.

Octopus Cheating at Test

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.