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Коварный или нежный спрутSpanish schooner with silver bullion crashed and sank off the coast of Colombia. Seven divers have already tried to reach the valuable cargo, but none of them came back to the surface. It seemed that fate hung over the ship, partially buried in the sand at a depth of 64 meters.

Fearless Harry Risberg, the famous American diver, descended to the bottom. There he found near the body of a ship skeleton of its predecessor with diving helmet on his head and torn in the wetsuit. But the brave diver had quickly rise to the surface, as his hose air was mysteriously damaged. Despite this, Risberg again made a dive in two days. Here is what he writes in his book "Gold of the lost ships": "Suddenly I had a weird feeling that next to me there's somebody.

This feeling was so strong that I started to spin, illuminating the water column lantern. And suddenly... my God! Because of the vague contours of a bronze statue in front of my eyes grew huge figure. Noticing her through the water column, I shuddered. Up to full height, completely filling the doorway... and closed my way to retreat in front of me stood a creature from the vision of a drug addict. Filthy, covered with warts body was slowly rocking from side to side, constantly shaking and twisting. The diameter of the monster was about fifteen feet (4.5 m), and its barrel of a massive body is about 4 feet (1.2 m). Long sticky tentacles were dotted with hundreds of suckers the size of a saucer. Its color is slowly changing, moving from brown and dirty-yellow tint through light brown to grey and almost white. Demonic eyes of this vampire seemed to be watching my every movement". Began a bitter struggle, during which Risberg managed to cut her with a knife three tentacles monster. In truth, it seems strange that fact is itself a diver stressed "diabolical cunning" my opponent, " that Sprut tried to attack humans only one ' arm ' as fencer: it would not be easy to get things just eight!

But when the monster finally decided to act as normal octopus, a diver managed to slash steel blade in "the only vulnerable spot on the body octopus - in neck vein". But before you give up the Ghost, monster found the strength to shake his opponent like a baby rattle, break it spacesuit and injure the skin. Bleeding and gasping Risberg lost consciousness. It came back to him in a recompression chamber of the ship. Comrade Risberg, worried his long

absence, they sent unto him two local divers. They released him from the arms of the dead monster and raised to the surface. They pinched holes on the suit, which came out in the air... a Lot of things in this story is questionable. And it begs the question: whether it is simply awesome fiction? On the one hand, a very typical for literature describing underwater adventures, and on the other, reflects the generally accepted idea being that the British are sometimes called "devilfish" (Devilfish).

Incredible Sprut from "toilers of the sea".

Refer to the novel of Victor Hugo "Toilers of the sea". The famous battle of the birds of Rilata with Sprut Hugo has devoted three chapters.

"To believe in the existence of octopus, it is necessary to see, " wrote Victor Hugo. - ...The Cobra to whistle Sprut it...; Howler prehensile tail, octopus tail...no; the vampire clawed wings, octopus no wings...; Stingray electric discharge, octopus electric discharge no...; Viper is a poison, octopus no poison; Egnatia is a beak, octopus bill no".

'll get to that description from a scientific point of view. First of all, octopus poison is. This fact bil experimentally established in the XVIII century. No longer surprised that the octopus can defeat enemies, the size of which is many times greater than its own, stronger and better armed. One day, in our time, the inspector Neapolitan aquarium Lo Bianco they watched in amazement as the octopus distance paralyzes crabs and lobsters, placed him in the same tub. Not hypnotizes whether clam their victims? This explanation is, of course, could seduce romantic mind, but not to satisfy the scientist. Researchers Krauss, baloni found the key to solving this mystery. After careful observation, it was found that by attacking its prey, octopus always started with, pulled it to her mouth for some distance, as gourmet, breathing in the smell of exquisite dishes. If at this point to take away his prey, the victim is still some time to perish without any visible damage. Intrigued Krauss highlighted the substance of the salivary glands in the language of the octopus and easily found out that it is poisonous.

The poison of some species of octopus (and in total there are about 200 species hazardous to humans. One young underwater hunter, named kirk Holland, was doing his favorite thing off the coast of Australia, near Darwin. With him was his friend John Bailey. Already returning to shore, John noticed "blue octopus" 15 centimeters in diameter, that swam near him. Deftly caught it, he has taken the prisoner to crawl on his shoulders and arms. Then, for a joke, threw mollusk back to his friend. Animal cling for a few moments back to the man at the base of the neck, and then fell into the water. Already on the shores of Holland began to complain of dry mouth and sore throat. He said nothing about the bite, but John noticed a small drop of blood, speaking in that place back to where we were sitting octopus. Soon the young man began vomiting and dizziness, and it fell on to the sand and lost consciousness. Bailey hurried to take him to the hospital in Darwin. On the threshold of the hospital Holland stopped breathing.

"Disgusting" anatomy.

When Victor Hugo argued that an octopus has no beak, he was at fault. All cephalopods are in the place where their arms and legs, curved, like a parrot, only upwards, bill. This is an acute and powerful weapons can easily shred the skin of the enemy, turning it into rags, and even crush the hard shells of crustaceans. When the animal quietly, bill hidden in the folds of the body and almost not noticeable, but it does not disappear. Special representation of Hugo and about the way power octopus: "there is No Vice, equal in strength to the arms of an octopus. You attack air pump. You are dealing with emptiness, the armed tentacles... This creature gets to you a thousand vile mouths; Hydra grows in man; man merges with the Hydra". In addition to these thousands sucking mouths, Hugo gives his octopus another, but how!

It is even more "disgusting"than a thousand others: "In the center of the monster gaped only a hole. What is it - mouth? Maybe anus? Both! The same hole has two functions - entry and exit". In fact, all shellfish, including cephalopods, the anus is always clearly separated from the mouth. And this fact was Aristotle. Thus, in octopuses mouth is located in the place where its tentacles and anal is under "mantle".

Between the mantle and the body is formed cavity, like a bag, soamsawali with the external environment through the cross slot. On the other hand, this cavity is opened to the outside of the siphon, known as "the nozzle". Water flow freely into this bag through the cross the gap and washes going there gills, nourishing them with oxygen. The water circulation is used octopus not only for breathing. When he bothers to crawl along the bottom and there is a desire to freely swim, shellfish tightly presses the mantle to the body, closing transverse crack, and then a sharp contraction pushes water through a siphon-nozzle. As the siphon is directed to the same place as "feet", octopus gets the momentum back. Repeating this cycle, he floats like an irregular, using natural jet engine. But can move and tentacles forward. Products selection entering the cavity under the mantle, also washed out through the siphon.

"The Battle Of Gilat".

But back to the description of octopus in Victor Hugo's novel. We become witnesses to a real battle. Our hero, standing waist-deep in water, it appears suddenly in a strong embrace "pneumatic" monster, five tentacles which, with fifty suckers each, stifle it, compress, depriving of freedom of movement. In fact, octopus, as already mentioned, eight "hands", and on each of about 240 suckers, for a total of almost 2000.

Sprut from "toilers of the sea"obviously something special! What to do? Gilat knife in hand, but could this weapon to help him? "It beats with a knife at the tentacles of the octopus. But steel blade just glides over the surface. Besides their hinges attached to the body so tightly that by cutting them, you cut on your body". As you can see, octopuses in the past were not as soft as in our days. With relief we learn that the octopus was still weak spot, well-known Gelato. We know that the main thing is to wait for the right moment: "...the moment when Sprut will pull forward head. One brief moment. Who'll miss him, he was lost". One has to catch it, and then... "It's like a battle of two of lightning. Gilat plunged the blade of his knife in sticky flat com mucus and one circular motion so weaving a garland beach at blow - outlined them both eyes. He pulled his head as pull a tooth". Here is the opinion on the same occasion a well-known expert on morssome fauna Frenchman E. Boulanger:".. dostatochno compress the body octopus between the head and the torso"to weaken the grip.

However, I doubt that it will always fail, because the length of octopus with tentacles could reach six metres and a weight of 200 pounds! Safer just to plunge the knife between the eyes of the creature. In this case, will be affected brain would be instant death, and therefore the liberation. Not having a sharp object, you can, as it sometimes Polynesian divers, bite it with all the force at the same place.

Sprut less aggressive than the pumpkin.

Notoriety reaches for octopus long. But Hugo first of the writers turned octopus in being consumed special hatred to the person. The reaction to this exaggeration was, as expected, also exaggerated. Thus, the American specialist octopus, Professor of the University of Miami Stephen Riga William loved govorite "the farmer in his field more risks when meeting with pumpkin than a diver with octopus". If you look at the octopus from the outside, it really seems to be being shy, even timid.

His soft bare skin looks very vulnerable; it is clear that at the approach of the enemy he often have to flee, hiding in the cracks of rocks and under stones. All it generates the desire to escape, to become invisible. The art of disguise brought it to perfection. Agility and speed with which it changes its color and color, much more than the famous chameleon. In case of danger, the octopus can become almost transparent and in addition to throw out siphon ink cloud. This cloud not only does blind the enemy, but it seems that plays in the life of the octopus and a different role, perhaps even more important. It is experimentally established, the Director of the marine station in California J.. Mak-Cinisi. He was placed in one aquarium octopus and the Moray, sharp teeth, which are well known. First Moray eagerly rushed to find the octopus, willing, apparently, to quickly confronting him.

Before to mortal danger unfortunate clam literally took over all the colors of the rainbow. When the opponents eventually found myself nose to nose at the distance of half a meter, scared to death octopus threw ink cloud, and in the aquarium night came. So far everything went as usual. But little by little black cloud dissipated, and it turned out that the Moray stopped noticing the presence of the octopus: she did not know, even when he almost touched" her nose. Her smell was paralyzed and remained so for an hour or two! Therefore, ink cloud not only optical protective screen, but something like a chemical bomb.

Professor Edison verill from the University of Connecticut, USA, has formulated a contemporary view of the scientific world about the nature of octopus in 1879: "there is No evidence that any of the types of octopus on his own initiative to fight human or anybody was seriously injured them. This being rather apathetic and secretive, often hiding in the cracks of rocks and under stones. Their main food is bivalves and, if lucky, fish. They do not disdain, for example, crabs and lobsters, and carrion. Their strength and aggressiveness are greatly exaggerated". Nowadays, many lovers of scuba diving, accustomed to the meetings with these marine animals, go even further: they play with them. If to believe their stories, this being the "good and funny", and the communication with people brings them pleasure.

Are we in the menu octopus?

Is it really possible now to say that all the stories about the aggressiveness of the octopus, of attacks on humans is only a figment of the imagination? Too early to draw such a conclusion. In the book "Animals legends" Dr. Maurice Burton from Britons-1 who Museum shows that the subjects of many legends and fairy tales still have quite real roots.

In the last century monk William white Jill during his twenty-year stay in Polynesia has collected a lot of evidence about the attack octopus per person for seemingly no apparent reason. "No Polynesian - he wrote, - I will never go on the hunt for octopus alone, without a faithful friend, able to help in a critical situation".

Himself Thor Heyerdahl was once arrested by ankle small octopus almost at the final destination of their journey on "Kon-Tiki". Octopus in nature, undoubtedly, is a predator, hence the hunter. Most often he is waiting for its prey in ambush hidden in the cleft of the rock, and grabs her when she passes by. If the victim beyond the direct reach or large enough, it rushes to her, apart tentacles, and catches it in the etwork"dotted with suction cups.

If a sufficiently large octopus will meet a man swimming freely whether molluscum to think only of flight? Doubt. Perhaps he will attack, especially if! feel a threat to itself. Doubt that when the nose to nose with the octopus,of considerable size, the diver will come with the idea to play with him. But even if octopus seem timid and helpless, remember that the most delicate creation can be dangerous.
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