Photo by Mael BALLAND on Unsplash.

Octopus finds B.C. woman’s lost engagement ring

A B.C. woman has retrieved her lost engagement ring all thanks to an aquatic friend.

Annika Parkinson-Dow was swimming around Bowyer Island, a small private island in Howe Sound, B.C. on Friday evening, but noticed that after reaching the shore, her fingers were bare.

The 26-year-old told CBC News that she realized her engagement ring was missing, adding that the ring was a family heirloom passed down from her fiancé’s grandmother.

“I was pretty sure that there was absolutely no chance [they’d find] it, a needle in the haystack. I wasn’t even sure of the exact spot that I lost it,” she said after deciding to hire a team of divers to see if it could be located. A group of divers went to search for Parkinson-Dow’s ring the next morning, but after an hour had no luck.

Once they were ready to head back, they noticed a baby octopus in the water and decided to follow it. The tiny critter ended up leading them to a sparkly object, which the divers then realized was the missing ring.

“I was so happy because we saw them swim up, and I thought there was no way they found it,” Parkinson-Dow said. “And when I walked down to the pier to them, she was holding up the ring.”

According to Chris Hartley, a zoology professor at University of British Columbia, it’s possible that the octopus nabbed the ring for itself, as many reports have indicated that the animals like shiny objects.

“My guess there is that if the octopus put it out in front of its little den, when it saw the divers it probably thought ‘well, I don’t want anything to do with those divers, I’m going to hide,’” Hartley said.  “And if the divers then followed it back to its home, that’s where it might have left the ring.”

Harley added that octopuses are highly intelligent, but it’s unknown as to why they have an eye for things that sparkle.

“Is it because they are home decorators and they have their own version of HGTV that they like to watch, or is it that they are building little defences around their den, or is it for some other purpose? It’s just really hard to know what their intention is,” he said.

“But if I lost my ring and I was scuba diving and I saw an octopus — I would certainly follow it as a potential lead.”