(OCEANS/ANIMAL DISCOVERY) This video of the vibrant cuttlefish has been popular since 2007, and we can see why. Check out this incredible creature and why it has an amazing color-changing body. — Global Animal

Dean Praetorius, Huffington Post

Nature is awesome, isn’t it?

Metasepia pfefferi, better known as the Flamboyant Cuttlefish, is truly a unique sea creature. Not only does it change colors, but it creates a moving pattern of color which is mesmerizing to watch.

The video below, which has again begun to go viral after first being posted back in 2007, shows two stunning examples of the cuttlefish in action.

How the fish achieves its spectacular color change is relatively complex, but is intended to ward off predators. Marinebio.org gives a simple explanation of the mechanism used in achieving this spectacular sight:

Pfeffer’s flamboyant cuttlefish undergoes incredible color changes possible due to three types of structures contained within its skin, called chromatophores, leucophores and iridophores, which are small structures filled with colored ink which can be rapidly expanded and contracted to communicate or are used as camouflage within its habitat. These structures allow the cuttlefish to rapidly reflect a myriad of colors and change the textures of their skin.

This variety of cuttlefish, in all its oddity, is typically found off the coast of northern Australia or in the waters around the Philippines and Indonesia. While it might seem like the perfect potential pet (it can’t be eaten since it is one of just three toxic cephalopods), it reportedly doesn’t exist in strong enough numbers to be domesticated.

Color change is often a specialty for cephalopods. A new study recently revealed two incredible species, a squid and an octopus, that quickly switch between transparency and pigment, creating a virtual invisibility cloak, depending on their surroundings.

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