As the name suggests, World Octopus Day celebrates one of the most distinctive creatures living on the planet today: the octopus. This eight-legged, mysterious creature from under the sea has always been one that brings with it a load of fascination for its intelligence, mobility, and beauty.
History of Octopus Day
Octopuses are worthy of appreciation for a number of reasons. First of all, they are one of the earth’s great survivors. Indeed, despite their relatively short lifespan, octopus fossils date back more than 300 million years, meaning that they pre-date even dinosaurs.
Perhaps one of the reasons that these unique creatures have survived so long under the sea is because they are also believed to be highly intelligent. With around 500 million neurons located in their brains and arms, they are able to bypass their instincts, learn lessons and solve problems in a way that not very many other sea life creatures are able to. Some of them have even been seen to be creative, by using discarded coconut shells and making them into mobile homes. Ingenious!
In addition, octopuses are visually stunning, coming in various different colors, a multitude of sizes, and all sorts of shapes. Some live in the very shallow waters of the sea, while others can be found thousands of meters below the surface of the water. Sometimes called the chameleons of the sea, the octopus is often able to change colors to blend in with its surroundings as a form of protection against predators.
Even though they’re introverts and probably don’t want to be invited to a party for the day, plenty of ways still exist to celebrate World Octopus Day!
How to Celebrate Octopus Day
So how should a person choose to celebrate World Octopus Day? Well, there are all kinds of options just waiting to be explored! Try some of these ideas out to get inspired:
Take a Trip to a Sea Life Center
Whether going to a local aquarium or visiting SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, getting up close and personal with these sea creatures is the best way to get to know them! Try to see what octopuses can be found at the largest aquarium in the world, The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, USA.
Learn About the Life of the Octopus
Put aside a small section of this day to simply get more informed about these fascinating underwater creatures. Although short-lived (some only live around 6 months) they are unique creatures with extremely interesting lives. Try out these resources for learning:
- National Geographic has a long history of being the go-to for learning about all things related to nature. With videos, articles and other resources, check out their website or their magazine. https://www.nationalgeographic.com
- The National Wildlife Federation is another great foundation that offers interesting information for those who want to learn about octopuses. https://www.nwf.org
- The Smithsonian Institute offers a number of online resources in their Ocean: Find Your Blue section.
Share Fun Facts About the Octopus
Impress various friends or coworkers on World Octopus Day by sharing fun facts and bits of trivia, such as:
- The Giant Pacific Octopus is the largest and longest living species of this creature. It has been recorded to be able to grow to weigh more than 600 pounds, although that is unusual. They are typically only around 45 to 60 pounds.
- In 2016, a “ghostly” octopus was captured on video by the Okeanos Explorer, at a depth of 14,000 feet (2.6 miles) under the sea.
- The octopus is a creature with an interesting circulatory system. They have three hearts and blood that is blue.
- One octopus is so intelligent that she is able to open a child proof pill bottle in order to access a snack that is inside. That’s more than some adult humans can do!