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A riveting new exploration of the octopus from the world-leading scientific expert. For fans of Netflix’s ‘My Octopus Teacher’ and Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith.

‘Enchanting.’
MAIL ON SUNDAY
‘Abounds with wonders.’ KATHLEEN JAMIE, NEW STATESMAN
‘Brings the world of the octopus vividly alive… a sense of what it might be like to live in their skins.’ FINANCIAL TIMES
‘The deepest of octopus books.’ PETER GODFREY-SMITH

AS HEARD ON BBC RADIO 4’S TODAY PROGRAMME
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What is it like to be an octopus?

The octopus is a highly intelligent and deeply mysterious creature. It can change colour as quickly as it can move, ‘think’ with its tentacles and communicate in sophisticated ways.

Marine biologist David Scheel’s lifelong preoccupation with these animals has led to a career of groundbreaking research, from finding previously unknown species to the discovery of signaling communication. In Many Things Under a Rock, Scheel shares his deep scientific understanding of octopuses and recounts his intrepid adventures with these mysterious, charismatic creatures.

He investigates four major mysteries about octopuses: what can we know about such elusive and camouflaged creatures? Why are they so extraordinarily resilient? How do their bodies work? And what kind of relationships do they have? In unravelling these mysteries, Dr Scheel shows octopuses to be complex emotional beings and reveals what they can teach us about ourselves.

What's Inside

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Reviews

Financial Times
"Scheel brings the world of the octopus vividly alive. The best nature books do not just describe animals: they give us a sense of what it might be like to shape-shift ourselves and live in their skins."
Peter Godfrey-Smith, author of Other Minds
Fascinating. Scheel's unique perspective on these animals makes this the deepest of octopus books.
Sy Montgomery, author of The Soul of an Octopus
David Scheel's astonishing observations make him one of the most important octopus ethologists working today. He is also, fortunately for us, a sensitive and lyrical writer, bringing knowledge and stories from native cultures to bear on the science he describes. I was agog at some of his accounts: severed arms wincing with pain; octopuses throwing things at each other; and octopuses seemingly standing sentinel over their octopus neighbourhoods. This book is mind-blowing and soul-expanding. You'll be thinking and talking about Many Things Under a Rock for a long time.
Mail on Sunday
Enchanting... This is just one of the fascinating factoids that marine biologist David Scheel shares with us in this clever book, based on his 25 years as one of the leading octopus researchers in the world... It is enough to melt the stoniest of hearts.
Kathleen Jamie, New Statesman
Octopuses are deeply, gloriously weird... The book abounds with wonders.
Times Literary Supplement
Scheel offers fascinating glimpses of octopus life [...] that may thrill and surprise even those of us who have read The Soul of an Octopus or watched My Octopus Teacher... excellent.
Sunday Times
Scheel has been studying cephalopods for 25 years. His fascination is infectious in Many Things Under a Rock, which sets out to address an interesting question: what is it like to be an octopus? ... How wonderfully weird and weirdly human.