Octopuses are incredibly resourceful, versatile and intelligent creatures, with a wide range of skills that include camouflage, escape tactics and the ability to adapt and use the environment in different ways.
But even while knowing all that, this video of a sand octopus making its own quicksand in order to create a subsurface borrow in which to hide from predators still blew me away.
The first cephalopod known to burrow (other species dig into the seabed), the southern sand octopus creates its new home by jet spraying the soft sand with water and sliding its tentacles inside. It then pulls its body underneath the sand via its arms, leaving two tentacles breaching the surface in order to create a chimney to breathe. Finally, it excretes a layer of mucus to keep the walls of its burrow intact.
The sand octopus lives in its burrow during the day to avoid predators and emerges at night to hunt and feed.
[H/T: New Scientist]