Scientists Can Now Explain Why Octopuses Eat Themselves After Mating

Scientists Can Now Explain Why Octopuses Eat Themselves After Mating

Did you ever think that humans are weird when it comes to sex and choosing the right partner? Of course you did! While there is still plenty to learn about human behavior in that area, members of other species can be even more fascinating but also terrifying at the same time. 

Scientists were curious to understand why female octopuses will self-destroy when the moment of their eggs getting hatched approaches. The animal would even eat itself or smash against a rock to cause injuries to its body. Who on Earth wouldn’t be curious about such behavior? According to, researchers finally have an answer.

Blame it on the excess of steroid hormones

The cholesterol from a female octopus’s body goes through some changes after she lays eggs. In this way, the animal will deal with an excess of steroid hormones in its body. That’s pretty much what happens in the body of the octopus that causes it to act in such a terrifying way.

Z. Yan Wang, who’s an assistant professor of psychology and biology from the University of Washington, explained for

Now that we have these pathways, we’re really interested to link them to individual behaviors, or even individual differences in how animals express these behaviors.

The communal orb-weaving spider known as Philoponella prominent is also going through some extremely difficult and sinister moments as it’s looking for the love of its partner. The male spider will have to jump as far away as possible from the female after the two insects mate. You might have already guessed what the reason is: the male will be in danger of getting eaten by his partner. Therefore, maybe it’s time for all of us to admit that mating works in mysterious ways.

The new findings regarding octopuses were published in Current Biology.


Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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