Why Does an Octopus Bleed Blue?

Belonging to the Cephalopoda class, this creature has been fascinating for everyone, especially children. It is indeed unique to watch this creature with 8 legs, intriguing every person out there to have all the knowledge about him, about how he eats, move, sleep, breathe and whatnot. It has a soft body that helps it move and squeeze itself to fit into places. Octopus is of the fascinating creatures we love to watch since childhood. All of the thanks goes to its uniquely shaped head and the 8 legs that it possesses. The head is in such a position that it feels as if the creature is going backward.

aquarium
Image credit: TheJournal.ie

The octopus is said to have a three-chambered heart, which helps it in breathing and circulating blood all over the body. One of its hearts helps circulate blood all over the body, it is known as the systematic heart and the rest two are the branchial hearts that help the octopus breathe through the gills. It’s the systematic heart that gets tired quickly in mobilizing, making the octopus crawl. The most interesting fact about these creatures is that they bleed blue… blue blood is what they have in their body. Their body doesn’t contain heme iron, instead, they have copper ions that turn their blood into the blue colour.

hemocyanin

‘Hemocyanin’ is a copper bound atom with oxygen that helps an octopus breathe. This element is proteinous in nature. The blue-colored cyanin blood helps the animal to live in critical conditions, especially in colder times when the blood becomes viscous and the blood pressure goes up to 75 mm/Hg. This blood viscosity is due to the copper-rich blood of the creature. The hemocyanin dissolves in the plasma itself which doesn’t let it reach the blood cells, thus making the blood blue and making it available for colder conditions.

octopus
Image credit: Science Trivia Resume

Octopuses can live in conditions of a temperature of -1-2 degree celsius. The copper-rich blood is not acceptable by an octopus in all condition which is a refrainment for the animal to move to all places. Such condition forces it more to move on the floor. It can only stay in those environmental conditions where the blood of the mammal can be managed. It is the only mammal with different blood type, against others who have red iron-rich blood. With blue blood and three-chambered heart, octopuses are also known for their 9 brains.

Octopuses are highly known for their intelligent use of the brain in sports and many other events. It also has a special feature of shedding a distinct color ink that helps it save itself from its predators. Next time, on a visit to the aquarium, make it a point to observe the features, especially the breathing of the octopus to understand the culture of its blue blood.

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