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Yes, those gentle sea creatures, tasty when deep-fried and served with a piquant marinara sauce, figure prominently in the quest for a real-life cloaking device. Scientists at Duke University -- something of a hotbed for this kind of work over the years -- the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and the University of California, Santa Barbara's Marine Science Institute are studying the mechanics of how squid, cuttlefish and octopus use special light-sensitive organs and cells to manipulate light and create "dynamic camouflage." What does that mean? If you've ever gone scuba diving and encountered a cuttlefish, you may have noticed its ability to change color while matching its surroundings, even while jetting along in the water. Its cousin the octopus can even use muscles in its skin to imitate textures, to appear like algae or a rough ocean-reef rock. These chameleons of the sea, called cephalopods, create a range of special effects not just for hiding, but for attracting mates and catching prey. Cephalopods cast their illusions primarily with organs called chromatophores -- tiny ink sacs controlled by muscles that release pigments in patterns, in layers under the skin. They are among the most intelligent creatures in the sea, and their pattern-making is so advanced they could "probably play a television show on their backs, if their brains were big enough," says Sonke Johnsen, associate professor of biology at Duke University
Originally posted by smithjustinb
That was awesome.
My question is:
Were they implying there at the end that it wasn't the octopus that was changing its form, it was the octopus that was changing the way we perceive its form?
What a bizarre creature.