Whether or not octopuses should be viewed as charming or terrifying very much depends on your personal perspective. But it’s hard to deny their intelligence. Octopuses can squirt water at an annoyingly bright bulb until it short-circuits. They can tell humans apart (even those who are wearing the same uniform). And, according to Peter Godfrey-Smith, a philosophy professor at University of Sydney and City University of New York, they are the closest creature to an alien here on earth.