“I don’t believe in it personally,” said Dr Mark Norman, Museum Victoria’s head of science, when asked to comment on Octopus Paul’s psychic powers.
“But having said that I don’t want to underestimate how amazing these animals are and how clever they are… they’re doing pretty well for a super snail relative.” he said.
“They can recognise individual people in a crowd, they can do really clever things like learn to unscrew the lids off jars to get prawns out of the inside, they can collect up half coconut shells and carry them around like portable armour and jump inside if something comes along.”
Octopuses can also mimic other sea creatures, according to Dr Norman. “And because they’ve got no hard shell, an animal that’s a metre across could squeeze through a hole the size of about a 20 cent piece, they can squeeze their eyes out of shape and pull their soft brains through the middle of these holes.”