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#FactFriday: 8 Fun and Random Facts About the Octopus!

Sea creatures are some of the weirdest animals in the world. Some are cute, while others are just plain hideous. There is no in-between. 

Look at the angler fish, for instance, it’s like all of the ugly in the world was put together into that single creature. It gives me the heebie-jeebies just imagining it. But there are other sea critters that are just stunning, like the betta fish.

There are many sea creatures that are yet to be discovered since we have only managed to explore 5% of the whole ocean! Nevertheless, the creatures that have been discovered so far have been quite fascinating. I’d say one of the most interesting is the squishy sea spider, better known as the octopus. There are various fun facts about this bumpy sea blanket, some of which you may or may not know. So, let’s get to it!

There are about 300 species already confirmed

There are two significant suborders of octopus: the cirrina and incirrina. The cirrinas look like a hot air balloon. They have two little fins, an internal shell, and cilia, which are small hair-like protuberances next to their suction cups, better known as suckers. The incirrinas are the exact opposite, with no fins or internal shell. Still, they are the ones that we are most familiar with.

They are the smartest of all the invertebrates

Apart from their fantastic color and texture changing abilities, with which they protect themselves from predators and sneak up on prey, they can also open jars, sneak out of their enclosures and use shells or rocks to build structures. They are indeed the most intelligent of all the invertebrates, but let’s be honest, there isn’t a lot of competition. I mean, take clams, for example; they’re pretty dumb.

They don’t have tentacles

They have arms, not tentacles, because tentacles have suction cups (i.e. suckers) at the ends of their squiggly limbs. Octopuses have suckers that run through their squigglies’ entire length, thus being called arms rather than tentacles. Not to mention that their suckers taste everything their arms touch, which I’m glad is a power that I don’t possess. Can you imagine picking up garbage and suddenly tasting it all? No thank you.

Their arms have a mind of their own

Unlike us, whose intelligence is stored in our heads, an octopus’ intelligence is distributed throughout its arms. So basically, they have nine brains: their central brain and eight remaining ones for each arm. This is pretty cool because even if they are severed, they can still function and search for food. Octopuses can even sever their own arms when attacked to confuse the predator and run away. But let’s be honest, that would confuse anybody. Just imagine yourself being attacked, and as a defense mechanism, you chop your own arm off. The attacker would not only be confused but also scared out of his mind.

They have beaks

The octopus has no bones; they maintain their shape with muscle tissue and their body’s only hard part is a beak inside their mouths. The latter is at the bottom of their body’s center, which is weird because that was exactly where I thought their butthole was. To summarize, they can squeeze through anything, as long as it’s bigger than their beak.

One of the male octopus’s arms is a penis

One of the male octopus’ arms is actually a detachable penis. The male either gives it to the female or places it inside her mantle cavity, where you can find their butthole and reproductive organs. Just imagine if humans did it this way. Your partner wants to get busy, and when you agree, they hand you their penis. Sex would be so weird.

They eat each other

Let me specify that it’s not in the sexy way, but in the Hannibal Lecter way. Octopuses have a tendency of displaying cannibalistic behavior. Reproduction is a scary thing for the male since the female can turn on him at any second, strangle and then eat him. Just like the praying mantis. Octopuses also tend to suffer from self-cannibalism, where they eat their own arms due to stress. Yeah, they take stress eating to a whole new level.

The female dies after reproduction

After reproducing, the female goes into a hole or under a rock and attaches her eggs to the roof. She remains with them throughout their development, which lasts six to ten months. The female must stay close to her eggs at all times, so she literally starves herself and dies right after her babies hatch. In other words, the female octopus is hardcore and deserves your respect.

Octopuses are magnificent creatures. They’re not only smart and squishy, but they’re also hardcore parents. Also, looking at their suckers just makes you want to touch them, but you better be careful when it comes to a male octopus’s arm. Since they all look the same, you could potentially end up holding its penis. You’re basically playing a game of guess who.

Pierucci Aponte is a graduate student at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. She is doing her M.A on English Linguistics and has a minor in Communications. When not studying, Pierucci either plays video games or watches movies on Netflix. Although her passion is writing, she hopes to become an educator one day.
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