One of the more interesting creatures in the ocean is a small octopus called the pearl octopus (Muusoctopus robustus). They get their name because they look like pearls on the dark ocean floor. Because of their small size, they are easy victims of predation. They have no defense mechanisms and are an easy meal for various predatory ocean creatures. How do they continue to thrive in their Pacific Ocean habitat? The answer lies in an octopus garden.
Researchers discovered the octopus garden 80 miles from the central California coast at a place called the Davidson Seamount. A seamount is an ancient volcano that has either sunk into the ocean floor or has been covered by rising ocean water. The Monterey National Marine Sanctuary and Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have studied deep-sea corals on this seamount for 20 years. They recently discovered an octopus garden – home to at least 6,000 nesting pearl octopuses and perhaps as many as 20,000.
The design of this “garden” offers successful reproduction of this vulnerable species. By being 10,500 feet down, they avoid many octopus predators simply because they don’t feed that deep. Like many other forms of life, synchronized birthing floods the area with offspring so a predator can’t wipe out a whole population. Hydrothermal springs at the base of Davidson Seamount warm the water, allowing the pearl octopus eggs to hatch much faster.
We see many remarkable designs in the biological world, allowing animals to survive. Every nook and cranny of the planet is home to some form of life, and this is just one more example. As Romans 1:20 says, “We can know there is a God through the things He has made.”
— John N. Clayton © 2023