Otto the Octopus, an eight-armed resident of the Sea Star Aquarium in Germany, baffled his caregivers by deliberately short-circuiting an annoyingly bright light that shone into his otherwise cosy aquarium.

According to staff, the marine exhibition began to suffer from mysterious blackouts to which the puzzled electricians could not find any reasonable explanation. This prompted the aquarium staff to take shifts sleeping on the floor in hope of solving the mystery. “It was a serious matter because it shorted the electricity supply to the whole aquarium that threatened the lives of the other animals when water pumps ceased to work,” a spokesman of the aquarium explains.

During the third night, a befuddled aquarium crew found out the reason behind the incidents – an annoyed octopus that had realised that he could extinguish the irritating lamp by climbing onto the rum of his tank and squirting a jet of water at it.

“We knew that he was bored as the aquarium is closed for winter, and at two feet, seven inches Otto had discovered he was big enough to swing onto the edge of his tank and shoot out a the 2000 Watt spot light above him with a carefully directed jet of water, says the spokes man.

The light has now been placed higher to prevent Otto from reaching it, but this might not be enough to keep the clever octopus calm. Director Elfriede Kummer who witnessed Otto turning the lamp off says: “We’ve put the light a bit higher now so he shouldn’t be able to reach it. But Otto is constantly craving for attention and always comes up with new stunts so we have realised we will have to keep more careful eye on him – and also perhaps give him a few more toys to play with. Once we saw him juggling the hermit crabs in his tank, another time he threw stones against the glass damaging it. And from time to time he completely re-arranges his tank to make it suit his own taste better – much to the distress of his fellow tank inhabitants.

Octopuses are clever and curious animals and they can easily grow bored in captivity. If you wish to keep an octopus, it is very important to constantly provide it with challenging tasks and things to explore to keep it happy and healthy. An octopus must also have suitable caves or similar in the aquarium where it can relive stress, carry out its natural behaviours – and hide from pesky lights. You can read more about octopuses in captivity here.