Octopuses look like a tangle of squishy arms, and yet they never tie their limbs in a knot, finds a new study that determined octopus skin repels itself.
The discovery, published in the latest issue of Current Biology, is helping researchers to design soft robots, such as for surgical use, that can reshape their bodies without becoming a jumbled mess.
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It also solves a mystery about octopuses, whose brains appear to be unaware of what their two legs and six arms are doing. A chemical produced by octopus skin temporarily prevents octopus suckers from sucking.
"We were surprised that nobody before us had noticed this very robust and easy-to-detect phenomena," co-author Guy Levy of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said in a press release. "We were entirely surprised by the brilliant and simple solution of the octopus to this potentially very complicated problem."
We humans don't have such problems because our rigid skeletons limit the number of possibilities of where our arms and legs could be.