Red octopuses get up to 50 centimeters when they are adults, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s juvenile-compared to a human researcher-is a feast for the eyes. A baby octopus, especially one this small, is always the cutest thing in the sea, and the baby red octopus is no different at all. These small octopuses start out even smaller as eggs and free-floating larvae that soon grow into smaller versions of their adult counterparts and hang onto seaweed holdfasts with their little tentacles. Afterward they swim out onto sandy areas close to the coast, where they will live the rest of their lives as intelligent and fast-moving hunters.
Straddling the finger of this human being is a terrifying beast, the likes of which we rarely see in the flesh. It is a mighty red octopus juvenile. And it’s the size of a man’s thumbnail.