Skip to Content

How Long Can Octopus Stay Out Of Water?

Is it possible for an octopus to survive when it’s taken from the water? The short answer is that yes, it can survive for a certain amount of time.

But just like with anything else, there are some exceptions and specifics that are at play here. It’s good to know this so that you don’t become too alarmed when you come across an octopus on shore.

Octopuses are grand creatures that are just so fascinating. This aquatic being needs to be in water at all times, for the most part. They thrive when they’re able to move freely in the water, so it’s not an ideal thing for them to be taken from the ocean.

They also tend to stay in the deepest depths, making it even more amazing when they do travel up to the surface and end up on shore.

Read on to learn about the particular details of what happens to an octopus when it’s out of the water. It really is interesting to know how this smart creature operates and about its specific limitations. You’re sure to learn a few new facts that you can turn around and share with other people!

How Long Can An Octopus Stay Out Of The Water?

The simple answer is that an octopus can live for up to several minutes when they’re out of the water. However, there’s a bit more to it than that. If you love this marine animal, you’ll want to learn as much as possible about what it needs and its survival.

This way, you’ll be able to take caution and not make any mistakes when you find such an animal in an unexpected place and you’ll be able to tell if it truly may be in danger.

It is a bad idea to purposely remove an octopus from the water. If you happen to see an octopus close to the surface and shore, don’t try to catch them to put them on land.

They’ll struggle and experience some real physical difficulties, even if they don’t die. Even if the octopus seems to want to be on land, don’t take it upon yourself to help them get there.

One of the main reasons that an octopus must stay in the water or there is a risk to their health, is because they absorb oxygen from the water through their skin. This is a process that’s called passive diffusion.

The only water they’re getting once they’re on land is this leftover moisture on their skin, which isn’t going to be enough for them for more than 10-20 minutes. Something that is extremely cool about octopi is that they have three hearts – two of the organs pump blood to the gills in order to keep them oxygenated.

Is It Normal For An Octopus To Climb Out Of The Water?

Is it likely that you’re going to see an octopus climbing out of the water to go onto the shore? You may be surprised to learn that it actually is somewhat of a common occurrence for an octopus to do this.

They are a marvel, and you’re sure to enjoy catching a glimpse of this creature wherever it happens to be when you do finally seem one.

According to the senior curator of marine invertebrates at the Museum Victoria in Australia Julian, it’s not uncommon for octopi species who are in the shore or intertidal area to crawl along out of the water.

The fact that numerous octopus species are nocturnal means that we’re a lot less likely to see them creeping out from the ocean. It’s a great thing to behold, but not so good for an octopus that will sometimes become stuck on the land.

So while yes, it is a bit normal for octopi to visit the shore and “walk along”, it’s not something they’ll do for longer periods of time. They’ll take care of whatever they want to do and then slink back to the water.

They are perfectly content to navigate the deeps where they are the most comfortable and the conditions are the optimal for them to thrive.

Why Do Octopi Crawl Out Of The Water?

An octopus may live deep underwater for most of the time, but they also will come up to the surface and “walk” across the land on occasion.

Why does it do this when it has a boneless body that makes it seem unfit for moving out of the water?

Why would it seemingly put itself into a dangerous position outside its habitat.

One of the main reasons an octopus will venture onto the shore is for a chance to locate snails and other things that it finds tasty.

Once the tide goes down, you’ll see many of the species emerge so that they can hunt in the pools from the receding tide. It is an absolutely interesting thing to witness.

Octopi don’t necessarily like to be confined to one area. This includes being able to go to the shore and see what they can find of value. An octopus is an incredibly intelligent animal that will be curious about a number of things that are around them.

However, it’s important to realize that the octopus will not absorb anywhere near as much oxygen through their skin after they eat and during the digestion process.

The Magnificent Octopus And Its Abilities Outside The Water

As you can see, how long can octopus stay out of water depends on a few factors. The only thing that’s clear is that it shouldn’t be on dry land for longer than about 20 minutes, and in some cases, this is way too long.

You may actually be able to watch an octopus crawl along the shore, although it’s far more likely you won’t since many of the species are nocturnal. No matter where you encounter this majestic being, you should consider yourself fortunate that you’re graced by its presence.