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How the octopus learnt to fly

Can an octopus really fly? Ours already have. But let's start at the beginning. The discovery of the day takes us today not in the depths of the oceans, but up in the air. Our museum staff member Gerd Bühring chooses an octopus as his travelling companion for the trip out and back again, which he brings back to Stralsund with him after a vacation in his second homeland of Morocco. The long journey from Morocco to Stralsund is always an exciting experience for both of them.

To enable a pleasant journey for the octopus, it is vital to continuously feed it oxygen. For this reason the clever museum staff member worked out a way to provide the octopus with fresh oxygen from his surroundings throughout the flight. So he took a large container, filled it halfway with water and put the octopus into to it subsequently fed oxygen to it with an air line using a commercial foot pump. As soon as our flyer was up among the clouds, all the other passengers in the plane heard a faint pff, pff, pff from the row of seats where Mr Bühring made himself comfortable with his octopus. He works tirelessly with his small foot air pump during each flight.

A few years ago the trip proved unproblematic. But since the intensification of the security provisions relating the permitted quantities of liquids on board aircraft, Mr Bühring and his eight-armed companions need a special permit from the Ministry of the Interior for each flight.

There are currently two of these Moroccan visitors in our museums. So when you next visit our aquariums in the OZEANEUM and MEERESMUSEUM, take a look at our two brave eight-armed passengers and maybe remember their exciting experience high up in the air.

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  • Title: Gemeiner Krake (Oktopus vulgaris)
  • Physical Location: Deutsches Meeresmuseum, Stiftung Deutsches Meeresmuseum
  • Rights: photo: Johannes-Maria Schlorke

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