Rare “Blanket” Octopus Spotted Dancing through the Ocean

Jan 14, 2022

For such a colorful creature, the blanket octopus is really hard to see. Only a handful of people have spotted the sea animal in the wild. That makes it one of the rarest sightings in the marine world.

So, when marine biologist Jacinta Shackleton recently shot video footage of a female octopus near the Great Barrier Reef, she knew it was golden. “Surely a once-in-a-lifetime encounter for me – so grateful!” Shackleton told Bundaberg Now.

The blanket octopus spends its entire life out in the open ocean. It usually floats near the surface and rarely goes close to land. Moreover, the male in the species is almost impossible to spot. It's only 2.4 centimeters long. That's smaller than a walnut!

The female can reach up to about 32 inches in length. The female octopus features a bunch of bright colors. A long cape-like flesh, or a “blanket,” covers its tentacles.

Shackleton took the video while snorkeling. She tells The Guardian no sea creature she has ever seen could compare with the octopus: “It was as if it was dancing through the water with a flowing cape.”

Photo from Jacinta Shackleton.

A simile is a type of figurative language that directly compares two things. The quote in the final paragraph of the story uses a simile to _______. (Common Core RI.5.4; RI.6.4)
illustrate how rare it is to see a blanket octopus in wild
compare the size of a male and female blanket octopus
create a mental image of how the blanket octopus moves through the water
describe the vibrant colors of the blanket octopus
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