Of all the creatures of the deep blue, none captivates us quite like the octopus. This highly intelligent master of disguise is one of our planet's most intriguing and enigmatic creatures.
Marine biologist David Scheel's lifelong preoccupation with octopuses has led to a career of groundbreaking research, from finding previously unknown species to the discovery of signaling communication among octopuses. In Many Things Under a Rock, Scheel shares his deep scientific understanding of octopuses and recounts his intrepid adventures with these mysterious, charismatic creatures.
He investigates four major mysteries about octopuses: how do we study such elusive and camouflaged creatures? Why are they so extraordinarily resilient? How do their bodies work? And what kind of relationships do they have? In unravelling these mysteries, Dr Scheel shows octopuses to be complex emotional beings. He draws on his own encounters with octopuses over the decades, as well as remarkable stories and legends of indigenous peoples. The octopus is sometimes called the most alien animal on the planet, but here we learn just how much the octopus is like us. And how much we are like the octopus.
David Scheel, Professor of Marine Biology at Alaska Pacific University, has researched the behaviour and ecology of octopuses for more than 25 years. His discoveries include a previously unnoticed species of large octopus and a common signal use among octopuses living in unusual densities. He starred, with Heidi the Octopus and his daughter Laurel, in the BBC documentary The Octopus in My House.
"Enchanting [...] enough to melt the stoniest of hearts."
– Mail on Sunday
"Scheel brings the world of the octopus vividly alive [...] a sense of what it might be like to live in their skins."
– Financial Times
"Fascinating [...] the deepest of octopus books."
"Mind-blowing and soul-expanding"
– Sy Montgomery