a few fun octopus facts:

  • their arms are similar to our tongues in that their muscle fibers are  oriented in three different directions 
  • octopuses are disconcertingly strong (anecdotal evidence says that a 15 inch wide octopus was as strong as the scientist handling it)
  • on that note that same scientist said that when her octopuses escaped she would have to run behind them, “like cats” (paraphrased from sy montgomery’s the soul of an octopus)
  • aquariums have “octopus enriching programs” so they don’t get bored and fuck shit up in their tanks
  • they are crazy smart like. really. really fucking smart 
  • but we can’t compare their intelligence to ours because our evolution branched from the same common ancestor so long ago we cannot comprehend how they think
  • it’s believed that their intelligence evolved when they lost their shell, and had to adapt to predict how countless of different prey and predators would act, how to avoid them, distract them, lure them or trick them 
  • they visualize how other creatures are going to act, which means they have have awareness that others are individuals which is a type of consciousness but i can’t remember what it’s called right now 
  • like, they use tools 
  • they have distinct personalities 
  • aquarium octopuses are socialized from a very young age and even though in the wild they are solitary creatures they become extremely friendly with enough human exposure
  • sometimes they dislike people for no apparent reason and will shoot water at them
  • they have three hearts 
  • each of their arms has a tiny brain that controls movement and sensory input on its own i shit you not
  • they are color blind and yet they can camouflage their color and nobody knows how 
  • they can change the color and texture of their skin faster than human eyes can keep up with it
  • great pacific octopuses are white when they are peaceful, and red when they’re excited 
  • aquarium octopus have escaped their tanks and slithered down pipes into the ocean 
  • escaped their tanks to eat the fish in other tanks 
  • escaped their tanks to go fight other octopuses cuz they were bored
  • octopus fight club
  • learned how to take photographs
  • cost thousands of dollars by flooding new floors
  • they can feel, taste, and smell with their suckers and all of their skin
  • they enjoy tasting their food by slowly moving it through their suckers instead of shoving it in their beaks
  • they can rewrite their rna. no, really

  • the only reason why they haven’t evolved to take over as the next dominant race is because they’re doing pretty well  in the ocean so there’s no need for them to adapt further 
  • there’s a ton more but i’m so overwhelmed by love i can’ think of any at the moment i’m going to cry
  • read the soul of an octopus by sy mongomery no she didn’t pay me i just love octopuses so much 


  • learned to shoot out the annoying light over the tank
  • hid in floor drains when caught out of their tanks by researchers
  • hid the shells of crabs stolen from a tank under a third, unrelated tank
  • Sy is a wonderful human and a great researcher. NEAq actually named a GPO after her in honor of all her work on octopuses. (Or octopi, or octopodes – they’re all correct). Definitely read that book. 

    -liked being splashed. Figured out that spitting water would have keepers splash back in response

    – learned to spray 45°F water everywhere to demand splashes

    -likes taking brushes from divers. Knows the best way to do this was to sneak up from underneath or reach over the shoulder

    -will wait until keepers are looking away/distracted to grab stuff and knows exactly how far to sink down to get out of reach

    -seriously octos are huge thieves. If you have something in your hand, they want it. As soon as they grab it, it belongs to them. There’s no food and they have no use for it? Doesn’t matter it’s their thing now.

    -we lost a magnet scrubber for three days because one stole it from the interns. Every time she let it go and we reached a net to get it, she would snatch it out of the net and drag it back into the den. By the time we got it back she had torn apart the scrub pad

    -honestly it’s like keeping an aquatic possessive 8-legged cat