In a move that’s straight of out the cephalopodic version of Shawshank Redemption comes the story of Inky, an octopus
living held captive in a New Zealand aquarium. Three months ago, it has been revealed, Inky took advantage of a rare moment, slipping out of its enclosure when a maintenance worker failed to close the lid completely. It was a quick and dirty trip to the ocean from there, suction cup marks being the only sign of Inky’s escape.
Though the incident happened months ago, it was only made public yesterday, with the New Zealand National Aquarium’s manager Rob Yarrall telling Radio New Zealand, “He managed to make his way to one of the drain holes that go back to the ocean. And off he went. And he didn’t even leave us a message.”
The aquarium’s staff know this because of the tracks he left behind, showing a dedicated movement from the tank across the floor to a drain measuring only 6-inches across. That drain, whether by luck or some magical octopus wisdom, would take Inky back to the ocean where it could be free. An octopus doesn’t need much room to escape; the video below shows one making its way through a 1-inch diameter hole, for example.
Any hole large enough for the octopus’s mouth to fit can be an escape route, making it extra important to seal up any gaps. Inky left behind one aquarium-mate, who apparently was too big too escape or is content with its life in captivity. Inky himself had been living in the aquarium since 2014, where he could be viewed; the octopus is said to have shown battle scars from his time in the ocean.