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Monday, March 30, 2009

Octopus Cartoon Strip

My hunt for everything octopus brought me to, the website of German graphic illustrator, Daniela Uhlig. The illustration below is simply titled, "sushi".

Visit her page for more tentacle-related art!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Amazing Footage of Mimic Octopus

This video of the Mimic Octopus shows the master-of-disguise at its best! The narration is also very detailed and informative. Enjoy!

Visit this link to older posts for more information on the Mimic Octopus.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Vintage-Inspired Squid Poster

"Where's the Octopus?" you say. Taking a day off to let Squid enjoy the spotlight for one hot minute.

I came across this promo poster for a band called Long Since Forgotten and thought I'd share it with you all. First of all, I love the unique design - it reminds me of the old school octopus pulp covers. Second, the uniqueness of it is accentuated by the fact that it's being used to promote a band. Ya just don't see promo posters like this any more! Enjoy...

Robotic Octopus to Solve Mysteries of the Sea

From, March 22, 2009

London, Mar 22 (ANI): Scientists are developing a robotic octopus that will be able to search the seabed with the same extraordinary dexterity as the real eight-legged cephalopod.

With no solid skeleton, the robot would be the world’’s first entirely soft robot, say researchers.

The trouble with today’’s remote-controlled subs, says researcher Cecilia Laschi of the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa, is that their large hulls and clunky robot arms cannot reach into the nooks and crannies of coral reefs or the rock formations on ocean floors.

This implies they are unable to photograph objects in these places or pick up samples for analysis. And that’’s a major minus point for oceanographers hunting for signs of climate change in the oceans and on coral reefs.

Since an octopus’’s tentacles can bend in all directions and quickly thin and elongate to almost twice their length, they can reach, grasp and manipulate objects in tiny spaces with dexterity.

“So we are replicating the muscular structure of an octopus by making a robot with no rigid structure - and that is completely new to robotics,” New Scientist quoted Laschi, as saying.

Laschi and colleagues in the UK, Switzerland, Turkey, Greece and Israel are testing artificial muscle technologies that will more accurately mimic tentacles.

The team plans to mimic the longitudinal muscles with soft silicone rubber interspersed with a type of electroactive polymer (EAP) called a dielectric elastomer. Apply an electric field to this material and it squeezes the silicone, making it shorter.

The study has been published in Biomimetics and Bioinspiration. (ANI)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Octopus Featured on Trader Joe's Culinary Compendium

I opened the mail today to find this friendly little cephalopod! I love getting octopus mail!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More Morbid Octopus Lovin' from Deanna Molinaro

Print is available for purchase at

Who wouldn't love this creep-tastic clay octopus?

Print is available for purchase at

Personally, I'm considering asking my husband for a second wedding just so we can use these faboosh cake toppers.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

An Inconsolable Octopus: A Not-For-Children Book

I have found the most amazing thing! "What is the most amazing thing?", you wonder. It's a not-for-children story called "An Inconsolable Octopus"! This creepy yet delightful little tale tells the story of Jeffrey, a seemingly happy octopus leading a double life.

You must go to and see for yourself!

(Of course, I selected one of the darker images to display)

"An Inconsolable Octopus" was written by Deanna Molinaro and illustrated by Aaron Thedford.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Octopus Charm and Chain from Tiffany & Co.

First Betsey Johnson, then Juicy Couture, and now Tiffany!?! The world has gone mad for octopus jewelry!

Ocean treasures. Charm with round brilliant diamonds in 18k gold. On a 16" chain. Charm and chain available separately.
Charm - $425, Chain - $150

Could somebody please remind my husband that my birthday is coming up? Thanks!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Octopus Poem: I'm Wrestling With an Octopus

I'm wrestling with an octopus
and faring less than well,
one peek at my predicament
should be enough to tell.
It held me in a hammerlock,
then swept me off my feet,
I'm getting the impression
that I simply can't compete.

I'd hoped that I could hold my own,
but after just a while,
I ascertained I couldn't match
an octopus's style.
It flipped me by a shoulder,
and it latched onto a hip,
essentially that octopus
has got me in its grip.

I tried assorted armlocks,
but invariably missed,
and now I'm in a headlock,
and it's clinging to my wrist.
It's wound around my ankles,
and it's wrapped around my chest—
when grappling with an octopus,
I come out second best.

--Jack Prelutsky, from A Pizza the Size of the Sun, 1996

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Species: Atlantic Longarm Octopus

This clever little fellow might remind you of another species of octopus that we have explored. The Atlantic Longarm Octopus (Octopus defilippi) is a close relative of the Indo-Pacific Mimic Octopus.

As the name suggests, this species of octopus has incredibly long arms in relation to its body length. The arms are commonly around 30cm in length whereas the body is only about 6cm. The Atlantic Longarm Octopus can grow to about 36 inches or 1 meter in length when the body and arm lengths are measured. The arms are normally more than 7 times the length of the body!

They are quite distinctive with their reddish brown colouring and small white spots however as with many other species they are able to change their color and texture as the need arises. They have eyes high up on the head with a distinctive bump above each one.

The unmistakable eyes of an Atlatic Longarm Octopus

Atlantic Longarm Octopuses can be found in the coral reefs of Australia, Malta and in the Florida Keys. They prefer rocky environments and so frequent the lower areas close to the sea floor. Here, they feed by night on a variety of crabs which they catch with the help of suckers on their arms.

Like the Mimic Octopus, the Atlantic Longarm Octopus will mimic other creatures in order to avoid predation. It will swim along inconspicuously with its arms stretched back to look like a flounder. It has also been spotted with its spread its arms in a manner that makes it appear like a starfish.

The Atlantic Longarm Octopus sneakily swims along disguised as something it's not.

A fascinating fact that makes this species so unique is that females will carry their eggs under their mantle until they hatch. Most species of octopus find a safe lair to hang their eggs from to brood.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Octopus Chandelier Collection

WARNING: Be prepared to scrape your jaw off the floor by the time you get to the end of this post.

These octopus chandeliers are the brilliant creations of artist Adam Wallacavage, who recently held an exhibit, Les Trésors de la Tanière de Neptune (French for: The Treasures of Neptune’s Lair), at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York.

Believe it or not, this is only a small sample of Adam Wallacavage's work. I will be posting more octopus-inspired chandeliers and wall sconces in the future, so check back soon!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Octopus Chandelier to Dine For!

When that old fashioned crystal chandelier just ain't cuttin' it, it's nice to know you've got other options. How amazing would this look over your dining room table?

Behold this stunning work of art by Adam Wallacavage. It was available for purchase at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, but has since sold for obvious reasons (namely the sheer fabulousity of the piece.)

Stay tuned to Everything Octopus for even more octopus chandeliers coming this weekend!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cretaceous Octopus With Ink And Suckers -- The World's Least Likely Fossils?

From: Science Daily, March 18, 2009

New finds of 95 million year old fossils reveal much earlier origins of modern octopuses. These are among the rarest and unlikeliest of fossils. The chances of an octopus corpse surviving long enough to be fossilized are so small that prior to this discovery only a single fossil species was known, and from fewer specimens than octopuses have legs.

Even if you have never encountered an octopus in the flesh, the eight arms, suckers, and sack-like body are almost as familiar a body-plan as the four legs, tail and head of cats and dogs. Unlike our vertebrate cousins, however, octopuses don't have a well-developed skeleton. And while this famously allows them to squeeze into spaces that a more robust animal could not, it does create problems for scientists interested in evolutionary history. When did octopuses acquire their characteristic body-plan, for example? Nobody really knows, because fossil octopuses are rarer than, well, pretty much any very rare thing you care to mention.

The body of an octopus is composed almost entirely of muscle and skin, and when an octopus dies, it quickly decays and liquefies into a slimy blob. After just a few days there will be nothing left at all. And that assumes that the fresh carcass is not consumed almost immediately by hungry scavengers. The result is that preservation of an octopus as a fossil is about as unlikely as finding a fossil sneeze, and none of the 200-300 species of octopus known today has ever been found in fossilized form. Until now, that is.

Palaeontologists have just identified three new species of fossil octopus discovered in Cretaceous rocks in Lebanon. The five specimens, described in the latest issue of the journal Palaeontology, are 95 million years old but, astonishingly, preserve the octopuses' eight arms with traces of muscles and those characteristic rows of suckers. Even traces of the ink and internal gills are present in some specimens. '

"These are sensational fossils, extraordinarily well preserved," says Dirk Fuchs of the Freie University Berlin, lead author of the report. But what surprised the scientists most was how similar the specimens are to modern octopus: "these things are 95 million years old, yet one of the fossils is almost indistinguishable from living species." This provides important evolutionary information. "The more primitive relatives of octopuses had fleshy fins along their bodies. The new fossils are so well preserved that they show, like living octopus, that they didn't have these structures." This pushes back the origins of modern octopus by tens of millions of years, and while this is scientifically significant, perhaps the most remarkable thing about these fossils is that they exist at all.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Octopus Inking Video

This 10-second video, filmed in the waters off Bolongo Bay in St. Thomas, demonstrates the octopuses brilliant defense mechanism known as inking.

This diver just got INK'D!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Green Octopuses for St. Patrick's Day!

With a little digging around, I managed to score some cool pictures of green octopuses in celebration of St. Patrick's Day. Enjoy!

A beautiful painting of emerald octopuses by Chelline Larsen.

A lovely vintage brass octopus locket from seller, Locket2You.

A smaller set of green octopuses by Chelline Larsen.

A lucky eight-armed clover!

A green octopus glass sculpture from

Check out this cutie-patootie made by seller, ParamiPanda.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Juicy Couture Octopus Charm

First it was the Betsey Johnson octopus jewelry that everyone was going wild for. Now, Juicy Couture has caught the octopus bug! Behold the Juicy Couture Octopus Charm!
Eight blue legs are accented with sparkling stones on a cute octopus charm.
Lobster clasp closure.
Approx. charm drop: 2".
Gold or silver plating/brass/cubic zirconia/glass.
By Juicy Couture; imported.

This little cutie is sold out in most stores, but you can visit the link below to score your own Juicy Couture Octopus charm:

More Great Octopus Gear from

Do I have a new "favorite seller" on my hands? Yesterday I posted about the "Kraken Scarf" I was lusting after and now I find this - a whole cache of snazzy octopus clothing from NWShirts! Here are some cool pieces to add to your octopus clothing collection:

Happy shopping, fellow cephalophiles!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tentacled Invasion of the California Coast!

It's not often that I write about anything other than octopuses on this blog, but then again, it's not often that cephalopods make headlines like this!

From:, March 6, 2009

Invasion of Squid Along the California Coast
It may seem like something out of a horror movie, but giant squid have invaded key fishing areas in the Pacific, gobbling up everything they can find.

Off the California coast, its been getting harder to catch big fish like salmon — but a whole lot easier to hook a deep sea monster, the Humboldt Squid.

The population of the Humboldt Squid, which has huge 6-feet-long tentacles and weighs up to 100 pounds, has soared along the California coast line.

The giant Squid's usual territory from Chile to Mexico has expanded dramatically over the last seven years. Once rarely seen off California, they are now strong arming their way toward dominance.

William Gilly of Stanford University said one thing is for sure, the squid are not picky eaters and right now millions of them are consuming whatever they can find off the California coast.

For fisherman, that means the tug on the end of the line may have tentacles
instead of fins.

Some marine experts said the one defense against this giant squid invasion may be to eat them as quickly as they are eating everything else.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Otto The Octopus Wreaks Havoc

This is some old octopus news, but a great story nonetheless. Maybe Otto the Octopus gave some pointers to the little troublemaker at the Santa Monica Aquarium. These tricksters are always up to no good, and that's why I love them!

November 3, 2008

An octopus has caused havoc in his aquarium by performing juggling tricks using his fellow occupants, smashing rocks against the glass and turning off the power by shortcircuiting a lamp.

Staff believe that the octopus called Otto had been annoyed by the bright light shining into his aquarium and had discovered he could extinguish it by climbing onto the rim of his tank and squirting a jet of water in its direction.

The short-circuit had baffled electricians as well as staff at the Sea Star Aquarium in Coburg, Germany, who decided to take shifts sleeping on the floor to find out what caused the mysterious blackouts.

A spokesman said: "It was a serious matter because it shorted the electricity supply to the whole aquarium that threatened the lives of the other animals when water pumps ceased to work.

"It was on the third night that we found out that the octopus Otto was responsible for the chaos.

"We knew that he was bored as the aquarium is closed for winter, and at two feet, seven inches Otto had discovered he was big enough to swing onto the edge of his tank and shoot out the 2000 Watt spot light above him with a carefully directed jet of water."

Director Elfriede Kummer who witnessed the act said: "We've put the light a bit higher now so he shouldn't be able to reach it. But Otto is constantly craving for attention and always comes up with new stunts so we have realised we will have to keep more careful eye on him - and also perhaps give him a few more toys to play with.

"Once we saw him juggling the hermit crabs in his tank, another time he threw stones against the glass damaging it. And from time to time he completely re-arranges his tank to make it suit his own taste better - much to the distress of his fellow tank inhabitants."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Octopus Inking: How Does it Work?

In addition to the octopus's uncanny ability to camouflage itself into its surroundings to avoid predators, the octopus has a secret weapon: ink. An ink sac is located near its digestive system, and when necessary, the octopus can eject ink out of the sac along with a burst of water from the funnel. The combination creates a black cloud. The octopus can shoot the ink out in little blobs that serve as decoys, or it can shoot it out in one big mass to obscure a quick getaway. To top it off, the ink contains tyrosinase, a compound that impairs smell and taste, which further confuses the predator.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Box Full of Octopus

From:, March 5, 2009
Written by: By Martin Finucane, Globe Staff

The seven-foot octopus Truman pulled a Houdini today, stuffing himself in an acrylic cube in search of food. The spectacle drew a crowd.

His name is Truman. But you can just call him Houdini.

Truman, a 7-foot-long, 30-pound octopus at the New England Aquarium squeezed his body into a 14-inch square acrylic box today in pursuit of food, aquarium officials said. The 30-minute performance drew a crowd of staff and guests.

The caretakers for the octopi at the aquarium place food inside locked boxes as an enrichment activity. The idea is that the animals, who are very intelligent, must figure out how to unlatch the boxes and get the food, aquarium officials said in a news release.

Today, biologist Bill Murphy placed a couple of crabs inside a 6-inch-square acrylic cube and latched it, then placed that cube inside a 14-inch cube with a different latch. The cubes were then placed inside Truman's tank.

The idea was for Truman to release the latch on the larger box then release the latch of the smaller one to get his food. And staff expected Truman not to get to work until after the aquarium closed and it was dark, because octopi typically prey on other animals at night.

But Truman was impatient. He got to work right away. And rather than undoing the latch on the larger box, he squeezed his legs and large head through a two-inch hole in the larger box.

"The speculation is that the crabs were active and he got excited ... and decided, Whoa!, there's lunch," said aquarium spokesman Tony LaCasse.

Once inside, he worked for 30 minutes to try to unlatch the smaller box.

Unlike a human magician undoing padlocks underwater while his air runs out, Truman apparently took his time. And when he couldn't get the smaller box open, he simply slithered out again, the aquarium said.

LaCasse said the octopi are known among the staff as "absolutely remarkably intelligent animals" who like to interact with people.

"Believe it or not," he said, "that octopus likes to be petted."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Octopus "Kraken" Scarf on

Just in case you wanted to buy me a fabulous gift just for being me, here's what I want: an octopus scarf from seller, NWShirts.

Product Description:
Cool print of giant octopus pulling down a ship printed on American Apparel 100% Sheer Jersey cotton scarf, combed for softness and comfort. Dimensions: 93" x 16" (236cm x 41cm)

Available in olive green only


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Octopus Anatomy from, Part III

Octopuses have excellent sight, smell and touch. Each of their suckers has small and touch sensors capable of identifying even the smallest of scents or hints of a food source. They are however deaf with no auditory capability at all.
Their eyes slit-shaped pupils are well suited for the light levels which an octopus typically finds itself, but they do not appear to have color vision although they do distinguish polarization of light which may explain why they can mimic surrounding colors so well.

Two special organs called statocysts attached to the brain allow the octopus to orient its body and an autonomic response keeps the eyes oriented horizontally at all times.

Octopuses have an excellent sense of touch, and each sucker has chemoreceptors to allow it to taste what it touches. Each arm also contains tension sensors to allow it to know when they are stretched out but since each limb has some independent capability and the octopuses has very poor proprioceptive senses it is not always capable of determining the exact position of its body or arms at any given time. Due to this an octopus can’t tell the overall shape of an object it is handling (stereognosis) although it can detect texture variations on a local level.

The unique autonomy of the arms causes some difficulty for octopuses learning effects of its motions – to see what reaction the arms have taken to a high-level command means visually observing as there is no direct feedback to the brain from the arms themselves.

The neurological autonomy of the arms means that the octopus has great difficulty learning about the detailed effects of its motions. The brain may issue a high-level command to the arms, but the nerve cords in the arms execute the details. There is no neurological path for the brain to receive feedback about just how its command was executed by the arms; the only way it knows just what motions were made is by observing the arms visually.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Octopus Anatomy from, Part II

Octopus defense is primary avoidance and flight but they can bite with their sharp beak, have potent venom, in some cases enough to insure or kill a human, and are very strong. When threatened the Octopuses first reaction is normally to release Ink and initiate flight.

The ability to change skin color and mimic surrounding is a great avoidance/protection skill which they utilize in self preservation as well.

In addition to using their ink sacs and camouflage via the specialized skin cells, some octopuses can autotomise their limbs which will grow back. In the case of the Mimic Octopus there is also a fourth defensive option: mimicking more dangerous animals!

Mimic Octopus pretending to be something he's not!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Octopus Anatomy from, Part I

The donut-shaped brain of the octopus contains only part of its complex nervous system: at least two-thirds of an octopus’s neurons are actually located in the nerve cords of its arms. The arms themselves are boneless and highly flexible appendages which appear to have three excitatory neuronal inputs with fairly large synaptic input values.

Octopuses have no bone structure being invertebrates but do have a skull, a shell rudiment and a beak. Despite having no skeletal structure they are very strong and extremely flexible.

Octopuses have three hearts - one that pumps blue blood throughout their extensive vascular system similar to other molluscs, and two branchial hearts which pump blood to the gills for oxygenation.