There is quite a thorough, scientific explanation on the link below. But the short and sweet is that there are muscles within every sucker that can contract and expand to ‘suck’ onto a surface. The muscle expansion stretches the skin on the sucker which seals off the area within the sucker and creates a ‘vacuum’. The skin is also grooved which allows the octopus to control pressure differential across the sucker.
The full explanation attached is very informative, and not very difficult to follow, just have to swallow the terminology.
Octopi have 2/3s of their nervous system located in their tentacles. Each suction cup on the tentacle has chemoreceptors that give it the capability to taste what it touches and pick up scents in the water. The arms also contain tension sensors that tell the octopus when its arms are outstretched. Check out the website link below for more information on octopi. For instance, octopi have three hearts and a donut shaped brain.
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