Saving octopuses, one pound at a time.
There are few creatures in the ocean that capture our imaginations quite like the octopus. These cephalopods are the living embodiment of the ocean’s mystery and have been a source of wonder and fascination for centuries. Their unusual bodies, undulating arms, and uncanny ability to disguise themselves have been the inspiration behind some of the world’s most legendary monsters, including the Kraken of Scandinavia and the Lusca of the Bahamas.
Today, octopuses are widely regarded as the most intelligent invertebrates in the ocean — but that hasn’t always been the case. The Greek philosopher Aristotle called the octopus “a stupid creature,” and after describing some of its habits and history in his work, History of Animals, he dismisses the octopus, saying, “So much for the mollusca.” Thankfully, science has advanced since 350 BC and octopuses’ incredible problem-solving abilities have been documented by modern researchers time and again. (So much for Aristotle.)
We now know that octopuses can solve problems, remember solutions, navigate complex mazes, and take things apart just for fun. They’re also masters of disguise and can instantaneously change their skin color and texture to match their surroundings while their soft, pliable bodies can fit into impossibly small spaces.
An octopus named Inky demonstrated just how intelligent, dexterous, and determined his species can be after his Houdini-like escape from a New Zealand aquarium outwitted researchers and made international headlines. Inky slipped through a tiny gap at the top of his tank, crawled eight feet across the aquarium floor, and slid down a 164-foot-long drainpipe that transported him back to his ocean home. Talk about navigating a complex maze!
There’s also evidence that octopuses have personalities and will react to different stimuli based on how shy, active, or emotional they are. In her book Soul Of An Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into The Wonder Of Consciousness, naturalist and author Sy Montgomery shares example after example of octopuses outsmarting researchers, expressing compassion for them, and playing games with them.
There are around 300 incredible species of octopus living in the ocean and they can be found everywhere from coral reefs to the deepest parts of the open ocean. Everywhere you find an octopus in its natural habitat, you can also find an unnatural predator: ocean plastic.
Ocean Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that advocates for science-based solutions and policies that protect the ocean. Our donation will help support their Trash Free Seas® program, which advances scientific research on the effects of ocean plastic on marine life, ghost gear removal projects, improved trash management systems around the world, and the annual International Coastal Cleanup.
The Octopus Bracelet was released in May 2019 in partnership with Ocean Conservancy and is no longer available at this time.
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