Octopuses and their cephalopod cousins are the undisputed masters of disguise. An octopus can change its color, texture and luminosity faster than you can say “camouflage.” So far our lowly human attempts at imitation have been quite crude.
Much of what we buy in the U.S. is not made here, and hasnt been for decades. If 2013 is any indication this could be changing, although the next generation of American manufacturing will differ greatly from its predecessor thanks to advanced technologies that rely on information rather than brawn.
Octopuses offer an extreme engineering challenge: They are almost infinitely flexible, entirely soft-bodied and incredibly intelligent. Are we vertebrate humans ever going to be able to build anything as deformable and complex as a real octopus?
As many mysteries as the octopus holds—its comprehensive camouflage, smart suckers, agile brain—its genome is surely holding many more (including how it can regenerate its arms—suckers, nerves and all).