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Unfair Arm Wrestling Match: Octopus Tries to Grab Diver's Camera

A pair of scuba divers filming off Carmel, Calif., got a great big surprise when a giant Pacific octopus suddenly put an arm lock on one of their cameras.

NBC affiliate KSBW in Monterey reported that the encounter occurred when Warren Murray and David Malvestuto were diving in Bluefish Cove off of Point Lobos in Carmel. They were in about 80 feet of water when the normally shy cephalopod approached them and took a fancy to Murray's camera.

As Malvestuto kept his video camera rolling, the octopus wrapped its arms around the camera and tried to pull it away from the diver.

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The wrestling match continued for a few tense moments before Murray flashed the camera's lights, causing the light-sensitive octopus to beat a hasty retreat.

The report did not say when the encounter occurred.

Giant Pacific octopuses, which have powerful suction cups dotting their legs and can grow up to 30 feet in length, are normally extremely shy, but they also are "agile, smart (and) sneaky," according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

"Octopuses are very intelligent animals that can learn to open jars, play with toys, and interact with their handlers," the aquarium says on its website. "Giant Pacific octopuses spend most of their lives alone. Scientists long thought that animals were unlikely to evolve intelligence unless they were social, so the octopus's clever, lonely life is something of a mystery."

-- Mike Brunker, NBC News