Can An Octopus Solve Puzzles?


Octopuses are incredibly intelligent creatures with a complex nervous system that allows them to exhibit behaviors suggesting problem-solving capabilities. Many studies have shown that octopuses are capable of solving various puzzles and tasks, showcasing their cognitive abilities.

Problem-Solving Skills:

Researchers have conducted experiments where octopuses were presented with challenging puzzles, such as finding food hidden inside a container or navigating through a maze. These studies have revealed that octopuses are adept at using their tentacles and suckers to manipulate objects and overcome obstacles. Their problem-solving skills are not only limited to basic tasks but also extend to more complex challenges that require critical thinking and strategic planning, highlighting the depth of their cognitive abilities.

Memory and Learning:

Octopuses also demonstrate remarkable memory retention and learning abilities. They can remember past experiences and use that knowledge to solve future problems, indicating a high level of cognitive processing. Their ability to learn from their surroundings and adapt their behavior accordingly showcases their cognitive flexibility and intelligence.

Tool Use:

Some octopuses have been observed using tools to assist them in solving puzzles, such as using coconut shells for shelter or carrying objects to build structures. This behavior suggests advanced problem-solving skills and adaptability. By utilizing tools in their problem-solving processes, octopuses exhibit a level of ingenuity and creativity that further highlights their intelligence and cognitive capabilities.


Numerous scientific studies have been conducted to examine the problem-solving abilities of octopuses. For example, a study published in the journal Behavioural Brain Research by Mather, Anderson, and Wood demonstrated the cognitive flexibility of octopuses in solving complex tasks. These studies provide concrete evidence of the cognitive prowess of octopuses and contribute to our understanding of the complexity of their problem-solving skills.

Serena Page

A journalism student at the University of Florida, Serena writes mostly about health and health-related subjects. On her time off, she enjoys binge-watching her favorite shows on Netflix or going on a weekend get-away.