VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- A remarkable video showing the birth of an octopus at the Virginia Aquarium has been viewed more than 1 million times on social media.
The clip shows a baby Caribbean reef octopus wriggling out of a flowerlike section of eggs. Almost immediately, the colorless creature's cells fire pigment, giving it a brownish hue. It waves its tiny arms and shoots off into the water.
Aquarium spokesman Matthew Klepeisz says their researchers have theorized that the swift pigment flow is either due to the stress of being born or an instinct to camouflage fast.
The aquarium in Virginia Beach posted the 10-second video on its Facebook page Wednesday and it had been viewed 1.5 million times by Friday afternoon.
Klepeisz says the aquarium is "thrilled" with the response to the video.
Here’s your daily squee! Our octopus laid eggs and we had several hatch! While we are cautiously optimistic, it is common for octopuses to lay over one hundred eggs in its clutch to ensure at least one makes it to adulthood. Thankfully, these little critters are going to receive the best possible chance from our incredible animal care team.Posted by Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center on Tuesday, February 6, 2018