The answer to the headline is that it depends on the moment and the background. I surprised this day octopus when I came around a corner and it instantly changed color. Then it moved and changed color again. I edged away and it moved and changed color again. It changed about five times over the course of a few minutes and each change was like hitting a light switch – one moment this, next moment that.
Their default color is a gray-brown, but I didn’t see that on this occasion. The red of the center photo is a reaction to being surprised and the two mottled patterns are camouflage attempts.
Posted in response to Becky’s July Squares challenge theme of ‘Perspective.’ See more responses here.