Canadian high school teacher Andrea Humphreys has done almost 700 dives, and she says she's never experienced anything as "mind-blowing" as her encounter with a giant Pacific octopus. She says that when she started filming the creature during a dive off the east coast of Vancouver Island, it approached her and ended up embracing her. "Its tentacles were reaching through the camera to feel my face and then at some point, it had crawled on my body, on my hips, and was giving me a hug,” she says, per the Canadian Press. "And it had tentacles up and around my mouth and it was sucking on my lip, which is the only exposed part of my body." Humphreys' video of the encounter has gone viral.
"Every time I backed away from it, the octopus just kept coming towards me," Humphreys says. "And it was just so amazing and inspiring." She says it stayed close to her and her dive partners for 40 minutes and appeared to be fascinated by their equipment. "It kept changing the lights on my camera system and fiddling with it," she says. Her video shows that the octopus remained deep red throughout the encounter, not "the greyish tone of a fearful or aggressive cephalopod," the Guardian reports. She says her students were very excited by the video and she hopes sharing it will boost support for protecting the marine environment. "The curiosity. The ability to explore was just so amazing," she says. "I’ve never eaten calamari—and I’ll definitely never touch it now." (Read more octopus stories.)