Ok, so this is really entirely for entertainment, and you should check out the excellent all-octopus-all-the-time blog Octopus Chronicles right here at Scientific American for genuine insight, but I couldn't resist posting this video that seems to be on its way to viral fame. Apparently octopuses can, and do, make quite extended forays into that near vacuum we call dry land. Watching this (and the other one below) I cannot help but think that the same scene could be playing out on a planet around another star somewhere out in the Milky Way galaxy, or even further afield. Opposable thumbs are so last-eon, prehensile tentacles are the way to go.
And this one demonstrating that old hunter-gatherer instinct that results in planetary domination...
The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Caleb A. Scharf is director of astrobiology at Columbia University. He is author and co-author of more than 100 scientific research articles in astronomy and astrophysics. His work has been featured in publications such as New Scientist, Scientific American, Science News, Cosmos Magazine, Physics Today and National Geographic. For many years he wrote the Life, Unbounded blog for Scientific American. Follow Caleb A. Scharf on Twitter