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The Octopus, Amazing Design, Evolutionary Puzzle

Giant octopus off the coast of Japan: ID 24786240 © Boris Pamikov |

[Originally published as The Octopus]

Octopuses are amazing animals classified in the phylum Mollusca and in the class called Cephalopoda. This grouping also includes squid, cuttlefish, and nautiloids.

Fossilized octopuses have been found deep in the rock record looking pretty much the same as they do today. As with many other kinds of animals, evolutionists have had a difficult time imagining what the common ancestor might be for the cephalopods. For the creationist it is very easy to see the octopus as a created kind.

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Octopus experts agree that these creatures are agile, smart, and sneaky. They cannot agree on whether to call multiple animals as “octopuses” or “octopi.” The majority seem to have settled on octopuses. Nor can these same experts agree on the nomenclature for their eight suction-cup-covered limbs. Some call them tentacles. The majority go with legs (actually, 2 legs and 6 arms).Octopus held by a diver showing its arms

Most octopus species grow quickly from eggs, mature early, and are short lived. Interestingly, most octopuses are solitary. This is another big mystery for evolutionists because evolutionary theory would expect animals with the intelligence level of the octopus to have evolved that intelligence as a requirement for social interaction. They often interact with their human handlers in the aquariums, but not with each other—except to mate. Once they mate, the male dies and the female dies as soon as the eggs hatch.

Some of the most amazing characteristics of octopuses are:

  1. They have no bones so they can slip through a hole only as large as their hard beak. This is often less than two inches in diameter. For this reason they can be difficult to contain in an aquarium.
  2. Their arms can be ripped completely from their bodies, and then can quickly regrow.
  3. Octopuses have a wonderful ability to camouflage using three layers of skin, each layer with tiny elastic sacs of red, yellow, and blue coloring. By stretching and shrinking these sacs the octopus can change color quickly. With this ability an octopus can flash a warning signal or melt into its background.
  4. Each octopus arm has a double row of suckers that range up to 2 1/2 inches in diameter. That gives them a combined gripping strength of thousands of pounds.

In conclusion, the octopus is a creature with numerous irreducibly complex characteristics. What we see here is another highly engineered animal. It takes an imagination of fantastic proportions to believe that this combination of characteristics and abilities are the result of random-chance interactions of matter. The acceptance of the Creator God of the Bible as the engineer of the octopus allows for a superior worldview—the one based upon truth.

J.D. Mitchell portrait (in front of a Triceratops fossil)

Written by J.D. Mitchell

J.D. Mitchell is a retired mechanical engineer, book author, and creation speaker living in the Pacific Northwest. His creation studies specialties are Creation Engineering and Biblical Paleontology. You can find his work at Creation Engineering

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