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Is it possible to be Friends with an Octopus?

Weekly Wilderness Webinar 17


Dolphins are such amazing creatures, they are more reactive and relational than we ever realized.

To discover who they are, we watched 3 different videos:

The first video was a life-changing incident between a scuba diver who be-friended an octopus. The interaction changed his life - the way he thought and how he began to relate to people.

The second interaction was a chance occurrence between an octopus and a family enjoying some time on the beach. They discovered the desperate, dehydrated, dying octopus and put him back into the water.

Please watch this video to see the heartwarming interaction between the family and the octopus as he said thank you to them for saving his life:

The third video was about a caretaker at an oceanarium, who had been caring for octopuses for over 20 years. He often went home with over 10 'hikkies'/ 'love nibbles' on the top of his arm, neck, and shoulder. Fortunately, his wife knew where he worked!


The life insights gained from the man who made friends with a wild, free-ocean-moving octopus, swimming with her daily in the wild, was that octopuses in their choice to befriend us can change our perceptions not only about them but also about ourselves.

This particular diver was going through an emotionally challenging time in his life that caused him to shut down and shut off from others, emotionally. The tactile dolphin interaction enabled him to feel more freely again and that changed his relationships with those around him. He began to engage with humans in the way the octopus was engaging with him.


From this first video, we also got a glimpse of the depth of caring an octopus is capable of. The octopus gave his life to save the diver when a stealthy, starving shark approached them both.

This is the highest kind of love any species could show another.

Octopuses show this kind of life-giving self-sacrifice as mothers. Often they will take care of the young they have given birth to, until they hatch, without food or rest, which sometimes costs them their lives.


We assume species like octopuses do not have great intelligence because we cannot speak their language. This octopus interaction taught me to be more open-minded to nonverbal communication between species, and across species.

Despite the octopus's inability to verbally communicate with the family who saved him, the octopus:

  • recognized the family who had saved him

  • he seemed to have been waiting for them to return to the same place where his rescue took place

  • he swam, fearlessly towards these 'giants' to communicate his gratitude

  • He followed them as they walked along the beach to show that he recognized them and wanted to communicate

  • he reached their hearts by his non-verbal actions, in the same way, they had reached his heart by saving him.


Even octopuses deprived of their normal life in the wild, because they are enclosed in glass cages in an aquarium, do not let these boundaries inhibit their natural inclination to be tactile and affectionate.

The life insight for me in this observation was that no matter how compromised I may feel by my circumstances, I should always be authentic and act with love and integrity.


If you would like to gain Personal & Professional Insights from our next



Thursday, 12th November 2020 at 12.30 SAST / Rome (GMT+1)

as we observe another

UNUSUAL FRIENDSHIP - The Lion and the Oryx

Please email me on so that I can send you the zoom link to JOIN IN.

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