[Video]: James McGauhey Octopus Encounter

tonmo

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#1
SCUBA diving veteran James McGauhey has shared with us some of his amazing video clips which feature his encounters with cephalopds. Here is the first video, with the description in his own words:

"Here's a short video of an octopus encounter I had last year. The octo was very large and after I got close taking video, it was wrapping tentacles around me, but nothing threatening. Then it just moved over, on top of my entire video system, lights and all, and took the entire system from me. The video was rolling and lights were on, but sometimes it pressed against the lens so it was all black. I thought after it discovered it couldn't mate with it, or eat it, it would give it back. No such luck. I was running out of bottom time on the dive, so I finally started peeling him off the system and got it back."

Watch the video in our Video Gallery

Thanks James!
:popcorn:
 
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erich orser

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#2
That's some amazing up-close Dofleini footage. What a great tale, footage to match, and a gorgeous giant to boot. What a beautiful octo!
 

Nancy

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#3
I love this video - perfect music to go with it, too.
The octopus finds the lights very bright - he's almost closing his eyes.

Nancy
 

sorseress

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#4
Any guess as too how large he actually was? That's great stuff. He may have been shutting his eyes to the light, but it sure didn't deter him from going after it. Think he ws trying to figure out how to turn it off?
 

scubajam

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Question on octopus size

My best guess on this critter was somewhere between 60 and 80 lbs. He was very large for this species. He never was spread out, but I think it was well over 9 ft span. The largest on record is about 120 lbs?? Per a worker at our local aquarium in Seattle, she says these only live about 3 years. The males mate then die. The larger ones have just been more successful hunting the past 3 years. The females mate, watch and care for the eggs for months without eating, then die when they hatch. There was one at a very popular local Seattle dive site, at about 100 ft down, that my dive club visited regularly for months as she watched eggs. Unfortunately I only saw her a couple times and each one she was way back in her den and it didn't make good video. This big guy was probably close to death. They exhibit goofy behavior between mating and death, just like this. Out in the open and not afraid of anything.

I sent Tony another clip, with shark coming at the camera, and that octo was only about 30-40 lbs. Average size for a Giant Pacific Octopus (GPO).

Now I shoot Hi Def video underwater and want to re-shoot everything I've done in the past. Some things like this just can't be scripted.

Glad you liked it.

Jim
 

OB

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#6
Liked it? Loved it! What a magnificent specimen... So sad (from an anthropomorphic perspective) they have such short lifespans.

I don't think the lobsters mind terribly, though :smile:

I recently visited the Monterey aquarium, their two GPO's in fine and inquisitive condition. Not as large as this one, definitely.
 

monty

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scubajam;80122 said:
The largest on record is about 120 lbs?? Per a worker at our local aquarium in Seattle, she says these only live about 3 years.
Nixon & Young report records (from Hochberg & Fields 1980 and Hochberg 1998) of 9600mm arm spread, 272 Kg, and 445mm mantle length, and "life span is probably of 2-3 years although a few individuals reach an age of 5 years (Hartwick 1983)"

Not meaning to belittle your octopus, but wanting to give full credit to big GPOs!
 

spooky

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#8
the first thing i noticed in the video was it looked like the octo was missing an arm. anyone else see this? i'll have to watch again to make sure.
 

TBentz

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#10
Catching Octopuses

I had a hard time on my first day on a Pacific reef years ago, with a hand net, trying to catch damsel fish. I caught one that day. Anyway, somewhat discouraged, I just starting turning over rocks and just putting my net down in the silt that is stirred up. To my amazement, I caught a small octopus, 3". I put him in a plastic bag and it dispensed its ink. You could have knocked me over with a feather. Of course, I knew they could do this, but seeing it in my bag was like the first discovery. I returned it to the water. You might try this capture technique- it works.

Cheers
 

monty

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#11
TBentz;94687 said:
I had a hard time on my first day on a Pacific reef years ago, with a hand net, trying to catch damsel fish. I caught one that day. Anyway, somewhat discouraged, I just starting turning over rocks and just putting my net down in the silt that is stirred up. To my amazement, I caught a small octopus, 3". I put him in a plastic bag and it dispensed its ink. You could have knocked me over with a feather. Of course, I knew they could do this, but seeing it in my bag was like the first discovery. I returned it to the water. You might try this capture technique- it works.

Cheers
:welcome: to TONMO!

I flip a lot of rocks, but don't seem to get many octopuses... but I hear if you know where to go to do it, it works a lot better. (snorkeling in Hawaii recently I found mostly brittle stars and sea cucumbers under rocks, no cephs at all :boohoo: )
 

cuttlegirl

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#12
I have found octopus at low tide at Little Corona in Newport Beach. You have to look for the signs of a cave. A negative tide is best. By sitting quietly next to a promising rock overhang, I would see a little tentacle peeking out... Sometimes I could interact with it by dangling a stick or piece of seaweed near its lair.
 

monty

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#13
thanks, CG, I'll have to check on tide tables and plan an expedition!
 

koaea

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#14
I've seen one at about 40' depth at Hood Canal, Washington. It was at a dive site named ... octopus point! The mantle was only about 8-10", but it was also out in the open and not shy at all. I've read where divers have had success offering crabs to larger octos for feeding, but there were no appropriately sized crabs nearby during my encounter. This was September 07.
 

tonmo

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#15
Neat!

It must be quite the experience for those folks who are able to find crabs and feed them to the octopus in their natural environment.
 

Nancy

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#16
Anyone who hasn't looked at the video (at the start of this threa) should take the time and view it. It's a wonderful octopus video. You will learn how untalented octopuses are at video!

Very appropriate music too!

Nancy
 

Tom Hlavac

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Largest I have seen is 140 lbs dressed. A Victoria, BC commercial harvester took that animal. Largest I have captured myself is 120 lbs dressed (filled two herring roe bags overflowing). A "handfull" (diving alone, winter months, cloudy and sun low so dark down deep) but at least it wasn't loaded with gravel on half it's suckers. Credible report of one around 250 lbs in Gulf of Georgia, I believe it because the ones that feed on swimming scallops have a very abundant and easy to catch food source. Amazing a 36-48 month animal can grow that big.
 

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