Do octopuses have nightmares ? Image Credit: Rockefeller University
The footage shows the snoozing cephalopod jolting violently awake as though reacting to a bad dream.
Despite their small size and alien-like tentacles, octopuses are remarkably brainy - as evidenced by studies that have recorded them manipulating objects and using tools to solve simple problems.
Some scientists even believe that these intriguing cephalopods, like many animal species, may actually experience dreams during certain stages of sleep... and if they can have dreams, then presumably they can also have nightmares, too.
Researchers at a laboratory in New York's Rockefeller University recently captured further evidence of this by filming an octopus waking up violently from sleep over and over again.
While the precise nature and explanation for this behavior has yet to be definitively determined, some believe that it represents evidence of the animal experiencing bad dreams.
"It was really bizarre, because it looked like he was in pain; it looked like he might have been suffering, for a moment," postdoctoral researcher Eric Angel Ramos told Live Science.
"And then he just got up like nothing had happened, and he resumed his day as normal."
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