INTERNATIONAL OCTOPUS DAY
On October 8th, World Octopus Day celebrates one of the earth’s oldest creatures. The animal is best known for its eight legs and ink-squirting abilities. However, there is so much more to know about this fantastic creature.
Octopus fossils date back over 300 million years. This means that the octopus is older than the dinosaur! Here are some other cool facts about these cephalopods:
- 300 species of octopuses
- 500 million neurons in their brains and arms
- Octopuses come in all colors, shapes, and sizes
- A rare type of octopus has tentacles that glow in the dark
- Some octopuses live in shallow waters while others live 2.6 miles below the surface of the ocean
- The largest octopus on record weighed 156 pounds
- Their mantle changes color so that it blends into its surroundings
- An octopus can swim nearly 25 miles per hour for short distances
- They mainly eat mollusks, crustaceans, and even smaller species of octopus
- Some species of octopus lives in every ocean in the world and along every coast of the U.S.
- The female octopus lays up to 400,000 eggs
- Large octopus only live up to 5 years
Many people are enamored by the octopus and for a good reason. There is simply no other creature on earth, quite like the octopus. Some consider them the most intelligent being on the planet.
Besides being super smart, the octopus is likened to Houdini. Since the octopus doesn’t have an internal skeleton or a protective shell, it squeezes through narrow openings. Lacking any bone structure, an octopus has even been known to escape from a jar with a closed lid. They indeed are unique and unusual animals!
HOW TO CELEBRATE #WorldOctopusDay
Many zoos, aquatic parks, and marine sanctuaries hold special events educating the public on the octopus. Additionally, the celebratory day kicks off International Cephalopod Awareness Days.
Learn more about these amazing sea creatures to celebrate the day. This article from the BBC, called The Alien Brains Living on Earth, is a great place to start. Read books about the octopus. Some recommended ones include:
- Octopus: The Ocean’s Intelligent Invertebrate by Roland C. Anderson et al.
- Octopus! The Most Mysterious Creature in the Sea by Katherine Harmon Courage
- Gentle Giant Octopus: Read and Wonder by Karen Wallace (for kids ages 4-8)
- An Octopus is Amazing by Patricia Lauber (for kids ages 4-8)
If you’ve never seen an octopus, find a zoo or an aquarium that has one and go check it out. Post a cool video about the octopus to social media. When doing so, use #WorldOctopusDay
WORLD OCTOPUS DAY HISTORY
The first World Octopus Day was celebrated in conjunction with Cephalopod Awareness Day. The Octopus News Magazine Online (TONMO) founded World Octopus Day. World Octopus Day celebrates its diversity, conservation, and biology. They chose the eighth day of the month to show appreciation for animals with eight appendages.