Rambo Rules: An Octopus Takes Photos of People

FINDING A FRIENDLY OCTOPUS ON YOUR PHOTO SHOOT DIVE IS A RARE JOY.  Sony Corporation and Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium in Auckland, New Zealand, turned the tables. The concept: An octopus takes photos of people.

The octopus is Rambo, so named because he wrecked two camera systems in the course of the training. 


Of course, the concept in which an octopus takes photos of people is a long-running performance art commercial for Sony’s TX30 camera, but it’s also a remarkable example of the intelligence, ingenuity and playfulness of octopuses.

It’s also a great video to watch:  Meet the World’s First Octopus Photographer. There’s also a second video about how it was done, Octographer: Behind the Seaweed.


After attaching the camera to the side of Rambo’s tank, they trained the clever cephalopod to reach in and press the camera’s red shutter button, shooting visitors who stand in front of a special backdrop. He mastered it quickly. Well, apparently he destroyed several cameras and casings until he got the idea. Hence, his name.

Visitors can get their photo taken for $2 per shot; proceeds go to the aquarium’s conservation work.

NOTE: This dates to 2015/2016. I reached out to the aquarium to see if Rambo was still doing his thing. Didn’t hear back.