An intriguing new scientific paper proposes that octopuses, as we know them, may have developed their unique characteristics due to an alien intervention. The rather sensational supposition was backed by a whopping 33 scientists who contributed to the study which was published in the journal Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. Specifically, they looked at what is known as the 'Cambrian explosion,' a time in the distant past when organisms on Earth suddenly and inexplicably went from single cell species to complex creatures.
The researchers postulate that this transformation was fueled by an inadvertent alien intervention through viruses deposited via comets passing near the planet. Known as panspermia, this theory has been offered many times in the past by scientists attempting to decipher how life on Earth began. However, the newly-published paper points to one creature in particular that could be a clue that the theory has merit.
The scientists cite the remarkably complex genome of the octopus as well as the difficulty in finding where it arose in the creature's evolution as a possible indicator of alien origin. This could either be by way of a virus which changed the creature's genetics or the tantalizing scenario of frozen, fertilized octopus eggs somehow being 'brought' to Earth from space. Among the attributes of the octopus that made the researchers suspect an alien connection are its "large brain and sophisticated nervous system, camera-like eyes, flexible bodies, and instantaneous camouflage."
As one can imagine, the scientific community has not exactly embraced the idea of octopuses being alien in nature with many researchers simply dismissing the paper's findings as thought-provoking, but unlikely. Though that may just be because they don't want to start wondering what they're eating the next time someone in their dinner party orders calamari.