Inky, an octopus from New Zealand National Aquarium made a successful escape from his tank, going through a 50-meters and 6 inches wide drainpipe and disappearing into the Pacific Ocean.
Octopuses are well-known for their intelligence and also for their escapism abilities, and Inky just showed us off that it’s a real fact. But how did the staff noticed that Inky left? It was because they found “octopus tracks” that revealed the escape route, where they figured out that the breakout happened earlier this year but they didn’t notice until this Tuesday.
Inky was donated to the New Zealand National Aquarium, located in the coastal city of Napier into Hawke’s Bay back in 2014 by fishermen who caught him into a crayfish pot, where the aquarium put him in a tank that Inky shared with another octopus.
Bob Yarrall, the aquarium manager said that Inky’s tank was left slightly open due to maintenance work, where the octopus managed to make his way to one of the drain holes that lead to the ocean. “But Inky really tested the waters here. I don’t think he was unhappy with us, or lonely, as octopus are solitary creatures. But he is such a curious boy. He would want to know what’s happening on the outside. That’s just his personality. He didn’t even leave us a message” said Yarrall to Radio New Zealand.
Aquarium “Prison” Break?
There are actually two theories about Inky’s escape, one of them being that slid across the aquarium floor of three or four meters and then, and noticing that sensation of freedom, he went into the drainpipe that led him directly to the sea.
The second theory is that Inky’s escape route could have involved him squeezing into an open pipe at the top of his tank, leading him under the floor to the drain and then into the ocean.
Inky’s body is about the size of a rugby ball but squishier than one, so he could get through impossible gaps. Even the largest octopuses can squeeze down to the size of their mouth which is actually their hardest part of their body, resembling a parrot’s beak.
Inky was the only octopus from the whole aquarium who decided to risk out and escape, leaving his “tank-mate” alone. Yarrall stated that on his whole time working as manager of the aquarium, this is the first escape he has experienced an escape, saying “yes, it’s most unusual and yes, we’ll be watching the other one”.