Social distancing is still a thing, all these months later.

By now a lot of us have learned how to ask someone to back up and give us our six feet of space.

Social distancing is a thing in the octopus world, too.

And according to new research, some of these eight-legged creatures have a different way of asking for space than we do: they throw stuff!


The research out of the University of Sydney made and analyzed hundreds of GoPro videos of an area off the coast of eastern Australia with a large octopus population.

They saw that an octopus might throw things to clean up after themselves, to get waste out of an area.

But in many other cases, they also saw a female octopus essentially fending off a male who wanted to mate with her, by throwing a shell or some silt in his direction.

(By the way, the octopus version of throwing is picking something up and propelling it away with a jet of water.)

And it worked: in the videos they analyzed, not only did the males leave the females alone, they didn’t retaliate.

Sometimes they didn’t even duck the projectiles!

All I know is, an octopus-themed season of The Bachelorette would really be something.


Here’s some even stranger animal behavior.

It was this week in 2019 that a feral pig living near the western Australian town of Port Hedland picked a fight with a cow.

That’s a lot on its own, though it could have been worse, as the pig had been seen stealing six-packs from campers before the fight.

One visitor estimated the pig had 18 beers!

Female Octopuses Throw Things at Irritating Males, And Look, We Totally Get It (Science Alert)

Drunk and boarish: swigging pig hogs 18 beers at campsite (The Guardian)

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Photo by Richard Ling via Flickr/Creative Commons