Unpopular Opinion: Octopuses are Underrated
They are just as good as dogs and cats.
Which animal is the first that comes to mind at the word “friendly” or “loving”? I’m assuming many people would have thought a dog, a golden retriever or another cliche breed, but did your mind even consider an octopus? Yes, I said an octopus. I am aware that dogs hold a special place in many pet-owner’s hearts, but this is the exact point of my argument today. How many Facebook and Instagram pages do you see dedicated to octopuses rather than dedicated to dogs and cats? How many people’s favorite animal is an octopus compared to dogs, wolves or bears? Octopuses are underrated and overlooked due to the lack of exposure to the world.
Firstly, I was merely browsing the web when I came across a video posted by The Dodo titled “Woman And Octopus Are Best Friends - ELORA & EGBERT” to youtube. It was about a woman named Elora who met an octopus while diving and named him Egbert. When she went back, they found their way to each other again, and it really opened my eyes about octopuses. They can be curious and pushy when they want to, which is super adorable. Just look at them. Their big heads, little eyes and tentacles that look really smooth. In my opinion, they are far more cute than cats and other mammals.
Another thing I would like to bring up is the evolutionary process of the octopus. The adaptations they have are far more advanced than the adaptations of commonly liked animals such as canines, felines and bears. To begin, they can camoflauge. Not only can they change the color of their skin, but they can alter the texture too. Another thing they’ve evolved to do is to live with a lost limb. After loosing a tentacle, and octopus has the uncanny ability to regenerate, or regrow it. The last major thing they’ve adapted throughout the years is the ability to use poisonous chemicals to defend themselves against predators and to kill their prey by paralyzing the nervous system of its target. They’ve also gained the ability to dart really quickly away from the threat. That’s pretty impressive if you ask me. Not to mention, the oldest octopus fossil is estimated to be around 296 million years old. Which means that the octopus has been around for at least 300 million years.
For example, The Giant Pacific octopus, which is the largest species of octopus and a rather well known species, is highly intelligent. They can be taught to open up jars and solve mazes conducted in lab tests. They have something else special about them too. They have three hearts, nine brains and have blue blood. The three hearts consist of two hearts pumping blood to the gills and one heart pumping blood to the rest of the body. The octopus has a brain, which is the main brain, and also has eight brains, each located in a separated arm. This allows the animals arms to work separately towards a common goal. The blood of the Giant Pacific Octopus has hemocyanin, a protein which is rich in copper that improves the bloods ability to transport oxygen in cold environments, like the deep ocean.
Furthermore, the Giant Pacific Octopus is the hardest working mother of all species. It starts with a pregnant octopus, which for four or five months she’s been carrying eggs within her. She eventually lays them individually when the temperature of the water is right. This will take her a about a month. Once all the eggs are out in the ocean, they float freely until she strings them together, or stitches them together in “braids”, after grouping them. She normally does this in a cave of some sort, and blocks the entrance by rocks to keep crabs and other predators away from the babies. She’s glued about 200 of those braids to the roof of the “den” and she just sits under them, watching them. Five to six months pass, and she stays constantly on guard protecting her 56,000 babies.
During this time, she checks to make sure that no dangerous substances grow on the eggs, and blows water gently on them using her siphon. She waves her tentacles to keep predators away, and usually never leaves the den. She hasn’t eaten for about half a year, and when the babies hatch she is nearly starved to death. Once the babies are ready to hatch, she uses her last bits of energy to clear the opening of the den and blow the babies out into the open ocean, and when all of them are free, she lets herself go. She floats into the open ocean and usually dies within minutes from exhaustion and starvation.
And that’s my case. Octopuses are friendly and loving creatures, and deserve more attention then they get.