A well-known diver had to rescue an octopus that was mistaking a plastic cup for a shell. Pall Sigurdsson and friends were diving in Indonesia when they found a coconut octopus in an unusual home.

Coconut octopuses use shells or other items, including coconut shells, for protection. This octopus had chosen a plastic cup. The cup made Sigurdsson wary so he decided to do something.

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Sigurdsson said he was concerned about the plastic’s effect on other wildlife, “While a shell is a sturdy protection, a passing eel or flounder would probably swallow the cup with the octopus in it, most likely also killing the predator or weakening it to a point where it will be soon eaten by an even bigger fish.”

“We found this particular octopus at about 20 meters under the water, we tried for a long time to give it shells hoping that it would trade the shell. Coconut octopus are famous for being very picky about which shells they keep so we had to try with many different shells before it found one to be acceptable,” he said. Coconut octopuses collect shells and coconuts found on the seafloor. They are small creatures, usually about six inches long.

The divers took video of the encounter, seen below:

There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners, using mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, and avoiding microbeads!

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