Wednesday, July 9, 2008

For all of you who are visiting from view from the porch and wondering, "What's the deal with Breda and octopi?"...allow me to explain.

I don't hate octopi, they just freak me out. (the link will take you to some amazing videos. Totally worth watching) Strangely beautiful, they are way smarter than something that can squeeze itself down to the size of its own eyeball should be and can camouflage themselves to perfectly match their surroundings. I used to visit the octopus at the Cleveland zoo and stare at it for long stretches of time, hypnotized by its fluid movements and subtle color changes. I like to think that it was looking back at me as it pressed up against the glass that separated us.

There were often toys and puzzles in its tank to keep that big brain occupied and happy, something zookeepers refer to as "enrichment." I never did witness the octopus play with an item. I suspect it waited until after the all visitors had gone home, so as not to give itself away while it was planning total world domination.

And just today I learned that, in zoos around Europe, they've been giving the octopi Rubik's cubes.

Somehow I doubt that they'll resort to rearranging the stickers (like I did.)

11 comments:

Weer'd Beard said...

They are friggin neat. Being so smart, and yet being invertebrates (mollusks even better!) also thier highly developed color change ability and their highly developed eyes.

I definetly think they'll be in the running for world domination if somthing happens to humans.

Lydia said...

that's wicked awesome. my brother could practically solve those things with his eyes closed.

I'm all for re-arranging stickers.

Jay G said...

I used a screwdriver...

M. said...

You are totally right about the eerie fascination of octopi. Somehow it seems only proper that they should be the smartest invertebrates. Their bodies are nothing but sheer malleable manipulation, eyes, and head (plus a healthy supply of suckers).

As Weer'd Beard notes, octopi are straight out of central casting for the role of masterminds behind the attempted Invertebrate Re-Takeover of Earth that we all, at some marrow level, know is coming one day.

The octopi are probably sending smoothly plausible emissaries to the roaches, locusts and scorpions as we speak.

Wikipedia feels it. Check out their cool article on "Cephalopod intelligence" with its suitably ominous photo of an octopus who is "apparently observing the observer.":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cephalopod_intelligence

M. said...

Also, those videos linked at your earlier post are amazing.

I don't know which was cooler: octopus disguised as sea flora turns off its cloaking and seemingly materializes out of nowhere; or octopus disguises 6/8 of its body as sea flora and then bounds along the sea floor bipedally with the other 2/8. Man, they're cool.

Robert said...

So is it the legs? The suckers? The slimy skin?

Breda said...

Robert - yes, all of the above plus the super sneaky camouflage. You never know where they could be lurking.

Xavier said...

My wife and I kept an octupus for over a year. Adept escape artists they are.....

RedneckInNY said...

I love Octopi - they're delicious!!!! Mmmm...stir-fried with curry sauce... :::drool:::

Less said...

Now, what would be really creepy is if they (cue the vincent price voice...)did solve it by rearranging the stickers!!

AIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

CrankyProf said...

I, for one, welcome our new cephalopod overlords.

Carpet Shark's nickname is Octopus -- he grows extra limbs to get in to trouble.