Octopus hitches a ride by wrapping round diver’s arm

Octopus hitches a ride by wrapping round a snorkeler’s arm and changes colour to match his skin – before legging it

  • Eric Desmet, 54, was snorkeling off the French Riviera near Cannes in July 2017
  • While near the sea bed the octopus wrapped itself around Mr Desmet’s arm
  • The octopus changed colour as Mr Desmet ascended to the surface of the ocean 

A hitchhiking octopus has given a deep sea diver an up close and personal hug, wrapping himself around the snorkeler’s arm, hoping for a free ride to the surface.

Veteran diver Eric Desmet was snorkeling off the French Riviera in Cannes, when he experienced the close encounter with the cephalopod. 

In the footage, the octopus can be seen spreading itself out, before quickly wrapping its long tentacles around the Mr Desmet’s arm and hitching a ride to the surface.

Eric Desmet spotted the octopus on the sea bed off the coast of Cannes and swam towards it

After reaching the bottom, the startled octopus wrapped its tentacles around Mr Desmet’s arm

Mr Desmet ascended to the surface for a breath of air with the octopus still attached 

In the process, the sea creature also adapted to camouflage itself as the same colour as Mr Desmet’s arm.

Mr Desmet, 54, said: ‘I’ve done thousands of dives and had never encountered anything like this.’

Having reached the surface, it then took around a minute and a half before the marine creature inked and disappeared under a rock on the sea bed.

Of the July, 2017 incident, Mr Desmet said: ‘When I initially saw the octopus on a rock planted on the sea bed, I dove down to try and capture a video of him.

Upon returning to the surface, Mr Desmet said the octopus, pictured, swam away 

‘He must have been surprised to see me, and within seconds had wrapped himself around my arm.

‘I needed to swim back up to the surface and take a breath, which he was happy to join me in doing.

‘He was wrapped tightly around my arm but it didn’t hurt me at all.

‘When I posted this online, everyone loved it.’

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