A 10-second video of a baby octopus hatching from an egg at an aquarium in Virginia has become a Twitter sensation.
The footage was shared on Twitter by the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Centre in Virginia Beech, and shows a Caribbean Reef Octopus (Octopus briareus) entering the world from a flower-shaped collection of egg sacs and almost immediately changing color.
The video has received more than 7,000 retweets and 17,000 likes since it was posted on February 7.
Naturally, there were some questions.
“Do they all change color immediately upon hatching?” asked one user.
“It seemed like the stress of hatching caused the chromatophores to fire almost immediately before settling down,” the clever person running the aquarium’s Twitter account responded.
The same user had a follow up question: “Do they calm down and return to a lighter color after that initial hatch stress? Or does hatching essentially trigger the activation of their chromatophores? They seem pretty colorless in the eggs,” he asked.
“After the initial hatch they did calm back down. Once they landed in the hatchling aquarium, they began utilizing their chromatophores more normally and working to blend in with the exhibit,” the aquarium replied.
Other people were just surprised by the cuteness:
The aquarium also provided some background on the breed of octopus featured in the video.
But not everyone was impressed:
And in case you were wondering, the little non-octopus critter that can be seen in the video was actually the baby octopuses first meal.