Deriq is not your typical Internet star. He often hides out of view and one of his pastimes is taking apart his Mr. Potato Head. Perhaps the most exciting thing he does is eat--underwater.
But that's all perfectly normal behavior for the most popular resident at the visitor center at Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. Deriq, a giant Pacific octopus, can now be seen by even bigger crowds thanks to a submersible Webcam recently installed in his tank.
The OctoCam's live 24-hour video stream takes viewers underwater and inside the octopus tank, which is also populated by sea stars and sea anemones. At first glance, all might appear to be quiet. But then the tip of a tentacle comes into view. Suddenly, more tentacles unfurl and appear to be coming straight for you, causing you instinctively to lean back just a little--even though the show isn't in 3D.
The submersible Webcam is a Lorex CVS 1000, which has infrared capability and allows images to be transmitted even when lighting is low. (The best viewing times are during the center's business hours, when the lights outside the tank are on.)
Installing the camera in the tank was no easy task. Octopuses, as you might guess, are adept at taking things apart. But the OctoCam team also had to consider how best to protect the octopus from the camera. Most of the hardware available commercially is out because it's made of metals that break down in sea water.
So the team had to design their own housing. They used a stainless-steel electrical box and applied a special marine-grade powder coating to prevent zinc contamination. Also, they smoothed all the edges of the nontoxic nylon bolts that hold the camera box together so the octopus couldn't unscrew them. … Read more