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Encounter with an octopus

July 30, 2021
He crawled away.

July 31, 2021

Do you know about octopuses?  I say that because I believe “octopi” to be a bogus pluralization.

We went with my nephew Chris Angel on his boat at Ketchikan, Alaska, to haul up some shrimp pots he placed on the bottom of the bay a couple days previously.  Most of them had lots of shrimp, in addition to some star fish, hermit crabs, and in one case, an octopus.

We had eaten shrimp a couple days earlier.  You twist off all but the tail, then you boil them. Finally, you pull and peel off the chitinous exoskeleton to get the yummy meat within.  All of this is a crude way to get the goody; consider the octopus we pulled up that had gotten into one of the traps. 

No live shrimp with the octopus, but some perfect cellophane-looking exoskeletons.  The octopus did an amazing job of cleaning the meat out of the shrimp.

This octopus was holding onto a rather large (maybe a foot diameter) starfish.  We managed to get him and his starfish out of the shrimp pot and into the bottom of the boat before one of us picked him up (perhaps 10-20 lbs, probably three feet from one tentacle tip to another.  I touched him and his skin was soft.  We put him overboard and, although I didn’t see it, he squirted ink as he jetted away.

I learned that octopuses live relatively short lives, usually just a couple years, especially the males who die soon after impregnating the females, who also die soon after giving birth to the youngsters.

Octopuses are reputed to be damned intelligent. Learning a maze, using tools, that sort of thing.

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