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Posted by on Feb 25, 2015 in TellMeWhy |

Why Does an Octopus Squirt Ink?

Why Does an Octopus Squirt Ink?

Let us find out why does an octopus squirt ink? An octopus squirts its inky liquid to escape enemies. The “ink” is a brown fluid produced in the octopus’s body and stored in a special reservoir known as an “ink sac.” Most species of octopus can release a thick cloud of ink.

One of the pigments in the octopus’ ink is melanin (the same pigment that gives our skin and hair color). It is a natural dye that cephalopods manufacture in an ink sac.

When an enemy (such as a hungry moray eel) threatens, the octopus instantly turns a light color and squirts a dark mass of ink into the water. This clouds the enemy’s ability to see.

The ink forms a shape that resembles an octopus and serves as a decoy to hold the enemy’s attention. While the enemy is busy attacking the inky fake, the real octopus scoots away to safety. Now you know why does an octopus squirt ink.

Can octopus ink be used for writing? They’re delicious. You could certainly use them for writing, though it isn’t done much nowadays. The brownish ink of the cuttlefish, dried and mixed with shellac (to make it water-resistant), enjoyed great popularity in the 19th century for writing and drawing — it was called sepia.

Content for this question contributed by Jack Straus, resident of Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky, USA