As one might guess from the title, Finding Dory is every about, well, a fish named Dory. However as we follow Marlin and also Nemo’s forgetful blue friend on her journey to discover her parents, a new, scene-stealing character conveniently emerges: a lovably grumpy cephalopod called Hank, that is fascinating no only due to the fact that of voice actor Ed O’Neill’s hilarious performance, but additionally because he to represent the perfect mix of fact and fiction.

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Anyone that remembers Inky the Octopus’s cool escape earlier this year knows that these creatures yes, really can stage a jailbreak. In fact, if you’re willing to suspend disbelief and assume that octopuses are capable of complicated emotions, motivations, and also cross-species communication, then most of what Hank walk in the movie isn’t actually that implausible. Need proof? get in Auburn University maritime biology professor __ Ken Halanych,__ who assisted me command a thorough truth check.

SURVIVING the end OF WATER

If Hank weren't capable of surviving outside his tank for more than 3 seconds, this journey would have been over before it also began. But as we know from Inky’s escape—and as Halanych confirms—that’s no the case.


In the film, Hank totes Dory in a coffee pot as he plods around on dry land. This scenes have actually a communication in fact: an in similar way to fish, octopuses breath by pumping water across their gills. As soon as they leave the water, their gills room no much longer buoyant, so they collapse and can’t take in enough oxygen because that survival. Yet apparently, octopuses deserve to make the a pretty long time prior to that stops them—it simply depends ~ above the varieties and the climate of their surroundings (e.g. How hot and humid the is outside).


“They have the right to survive for a good bit,” Halanych said. “Hours? No. But 20 come 30 minutes, I could see it.”


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CAMOUFLAGE

Hank can adjust color in order to seamlessly imitate his surroundings—virtually disappearing prior to people’s an extremely eyes. In ~ one point, he also wraps himself around a yellow guardrail and also melts away, looking as though he’s part of the structure itself.


As it turns out, Halanych has actually witnessed octopuses law this firsthand plenty of times—especially when scuba diving and snorkeling. “You literally come best on top of them and also you never ever see them,” Halanych said. “They’re very, very good at camouflage—at mimicking and producing the right shades of color." In fact, he’s viewed an octopus wrapped about a pole, concealing himself specifically the method Hank does in the movie: “I swam appropriate up come a wood pier piling that was brown, and also you couldn’t see him,” he said. “He to be hanging ~ above the post and was the precise same shape.”

There are, the course, boundaries to this capacity in the genuine world. “It i will not ~ be a hot pink or something. But if the browns or more earth tone form stuff, they nail it.”

The coolest part? Octopuses can change faster, and into an ext patterns, than any kind of other known pet group ~ above earth.

MIMICKING things FROM MEMORY

Hank’s most heroic feat that camouflage bring away a bit much more finesse and quick thinking than your average color change. In one scene, as he and also Dory uncover themselves trapped in an office hallway, he jumps right into her coffee pot, then transforms color and kind to mimic a potted plant. Would certainly he know instinctually what a potted plant looks like?


Well, most likely not. Halanych had actually another possible explanation, though: “Or is it something the he can have seen and also remembered?”

If Hank had actually left his tank before—which, indigenous the minute we meet him, seems to be a thing he likes to do—then he an extremely well may have actually seen a potted plant before. Mimic octopuses—Pixar’s main resource of incentive as it imagine Hank—are, together their surname suggests, masters of imitation. “They placed their human body shape and also coloration in a means that they look just like a flounder, among other things,” Halanych said. A actual octopus can not have the ability to pretend to be a plant—“but they absolutely do the with various other animals.”


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DRIVING A TRUCK

If you don’t desire the finishing of this movie spoiled, protect against here.

As Finding Dory pertains to a close, Dory and also Hank journey a truck turn off a cliff, Thelma & Louise style, straight into the ocean—setting themselves and countless various other captive fish free. Would certainly an octopus ever before actually decision to wriggle its method into a truck, climate learn exactly how to run the device well sufficient to crash it right into the sea? clearly not. But I couldn’t help but wonder: if one octopus did have the motivation to figure out just how to journey a truck‚ might it control to actually make the car move?


Shockingly, Halanych no completely dominion this one out. Given those conditions, that ranked this scene a 5 out of 10 because that plausibility—a rating that would definitely surprise many of the film’s viewers.

Assuming the animal were large enough, Halanych claimed that native a mechanical perspective, one octopus would certainly have the stamin to operate all of a truck’s relocating parts. Over there is, however, one catch: Halanych noted that while it’d be possible for one octopus come drive, the creature would be an ext likely to learn this ability by monitoring than v trial and also error, together Hank does in the movie.

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“But you know,” he added, “maybe he is the Einstein the octopi.”


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