Octopuses take their ease in the human waste of the seabed.

This is the conclusion of a recent study conducted by marine biologists from the Federal University of Rio Grande in Brazil relayed by

Science Alert




Since human waste is increasingly present in the oceans and seas of the world, octopuses use it for shelter, leaving aside shells or corals.

For the purposes of their study, the scientists collected a set of 261 underwater photographs and videos from around the world showing that 24 species of cephalopods interacted with our waste.

The preferred interaction was with abandoned glass objects (41.6%) mainly used as shelter in front of plastic (24.7%).

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Cups as refuges

For many years, divers have been able to observe octopuses laying their eggs on plastic or abandoned fishing gear on the seabed.

In some images, octopuses are seen moving glass bottles or ceramic pots, metal pipes or even rusty cans.

Some cephalopods have even taken refuge in plastic cups, which are less protective than shellfish.

If the cephalopods seize our waste, it is because they find an interest in it.

But “any apparent positive effect could also have several adverse and indirect consequences,” the researchers comment.

Some waste contaminated with toxic chemicals or heavy metals, such as batteries, could be harmful to the health of octopuses.

The researchers want new studies to be undertaken on the subject to better measure the impact of waste on the marine ecosystem.


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  • Waste

  • Planet

  • Animals

  • study

  • Octopus

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