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Watch an octopus change color while sleeping

Do octopuses dream? This video shows the beauty of underwater creatures, especially when they're snoozing.

This octopus changes color while sleeping in the PBS TV show Octopus: Making Contact.
Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Do octopuses dream? Watch a sleeping octopus that could very well be dreaming, in this video clip posted on YouTube on Monday to promote the TV show Octopus: Making Contact on PBS. 

While the octopus sleeps its skin changes into a multitude of color patterns flashing by one after another, and it's downright mesmerizing to watch. The sleeping octopus changes color from pale grey, to white, to beige and to a mottled greenish brown pattern. 

When it's awake, an octopus will often change its color as a natural instinct to camouflage itself when it's hunting or trying to escape a predator. So it's compelling to think that a sleeping octopus changes its skin color when it possibly dreams of hunting food or hiding on a rock.

In the video, marine biologist and Alaska Pacific University professor David Scheel narrates what the dream might be based on the octopus's color at that moment.

"She's asleep; she sees a crab and her color starts to change a little bit," Scheel says in the video. "Then she turns all dark. Octopuses will do that when they leave the bottom."

"This is a camouflage, like she's just subdued a crab and now she's going to sit there and eat it and she doesn't want anyone to notice her," Dr. Scheel added. "If she's dreaming, that's the dream."