Cephalopod Awareness Days

October 12 is the last day of International Cephalopod Awareness Days, which is celebrated each year from October 8th through the 12th.

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Copyright photo

In case you’re wondering, cephalopods are a class of mollusks that include octopuses, squids, cuttlefish, and nautiluses.

The timing of this celebration has nothing to do with the spooky Halloween holiday, although cephalopods have been haunting oceans for millions of years. No, the dates were chosen because cephalopods have either 8 or 10 appendages.

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Cephalopod Awareness Days celebrate our curiosity and love of books, movies, and TV shows that feature cephalopod characters. For instance, ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,’ ‘Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea,’ ‘The Little Mermaid,’ ‘SpongeBob Squarepants,’ and the Harry Potter series, to name a few. Video games like Minecraft and Pokémon have cephalopods, too!

For the sake of keeping this post from growing as long as a giant squid’s tentacle, I’ll share with you just a few interesting facts about octopuses:

They’re extremely intelligent and have excellent memories. It’s no wonder they’re so smart since they have nine functioning brains, one behind the eyes and the others in each of its eight arms. They have four pairs of arms, by the way.

Some octopuses have been known to use tools. Watch the 39 second video below. Home sweet home!

They’re so smart, some have been observed opening everything from screw-top jars to the cap on a childproof medicine bottle.

If an octopus gets bored, they’ve been known to eat their arms. Ew! Do you think that’s gross? It might make you feel better to know that they’re able to regrow their limbs.

They have three hearts. (I wonder if they love Valentine’s Day three times as much?)

They have blue blood. (For a tongue twister, try saying “blue blood” three times as fast as you can.)

Octopuses can change colors to blend in with their surroundings and hide from their enemies. It takes less than a second for them to change color. They can also change their texture to disguise themselves. This is a cool 24-second video:

If a predator confronts them, they can squirt dark ink to dull the sense of smell of their attacker, giving the octopus a chance to escape.

They also have venom, but only the blue ringed octopuses’ bite can be deadly to humans.

They don’t have a skeleton, so they’re able to squeeze through small spaces. Their bodies can fit through any cracks that their beaks fit through. This 1:42 minute video shows an octopus slithering through a crack in a boat:

Do you think Harry Houdini would have been impressed by that escape?

The last interesting fact I’d like to share is kind of scary, like something right out of a horror story. Once a male octopus mates, it dies soon after. The females can lay up to 400,000 eggs, which they guard with their lives. When the eggs hatch, the mother’s body quickly deteriorates until she dies. A haunting tale, for sure.

To learn about other cephalopods, here’s one website among many about these amazing creatures.

So what do you think of cephalopods? Do you find them fascinating? What’s your favorite creature, either real or fictional? Can you think of a book or movie that has a cephalopod in it?

If you love fun, creepy stories, my Monster Moon series coauthor, Kathryn Sant, and I have three thrillers you might like. We write under the pen name BBH McChiller.

Book 1 – Curse at Zala Manor (Great read for Halloween):

978-0615855479

 

“This tale will rattle yer timbers, squiffie, and chill ye to the bone!”

It’s almost Halloween, and twelve-year-old AJ Zantony’s world is threatened by an ancient curse that releases wicked pirates who had been trapped for centuries in his Aunt Zsofia’s creepy mansion, Zala Manor.

Available in print or eBook formats.

 

Book 2 – Secret of Haunted Bog (Fast paced and full of action):

Lynn Kelley Author, BBH McChiller, Secret of Haunted Bog, Monster Moon mysteries

“Beware the bog, landlubbers.

If ye venture into that haunted place,

Yer every step be filled with danger. Yarr!”

Available in print or eBook formats.

 

 

 

Book 3 – Legend of Monster Island (Perfect for Cephalopod Awareness Days):

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Cover illustration by fellow Emblazoner, Mikey Brooks

“Listen, swabbers, to this kraken tale.

Treasure and scoundrels and setting sail.

Sinking ships and a ghostly wail.

Can AJ survive, or will the beast prevail?”

Available in print or eBook formats.

 

 

 

 

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Lynn Kelley worked as a court reporter for 25 years while she and her husband, George, raised their four little rascals, but nowadays she’s a goofball in the highest degree who’s susceptible to laughing jags. She tries to control herself out in public, but it’s not easy. She’ll jump at any excuse to wear funky get-ups. For instance, making wacky YouTube videos, entertaining her grandkids, or hanging out at  a costume party.

She recently became a Master Certified Health Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

 

 

14 thoughts on “Cephalopod Awareness Days

  1. It’s amazing where our writing brings us, isn’t it? I bet you didn’t know most of this before writing your last Monster Moon book, lol. It’s a great series, Lynn!

    1. Thank you, Michelle. No, Kathy and I didn’t know these interesting facts before writing Legend of Monster Island. Yes, our writing adventures lead us down amazing paths, for sure!

  2. What a fun post! Who would have thought that there are special days set aside for celebrating cephalopods? I wish all kids could have the opportunity to visit an acquarium and maybe see an octopus in action. 🐙

    There is a pretty scary scene of a kraken rising over a pirate ship in the movie ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest’. 😳 See https://youtu.be/LqtfI7hWpwc

    Because I am partial to science, I really enjoyed this post. Thanks!

    1. Thanks, Kathy! All kids should have the opportunity to visit an aquarium and view the amazing creatures of the sea. If they could see an octopus in action, that would be so cool!

      That video is great! Wow!

  3. Interesting post! There’s a day or days for just about everything if you look hard enough 🙂 It’s an awesome time to be a fan of anything. With the internet, you can find like-minded people so easily!

    1. Thanks, Alan. You’re right. The internet makes it easy to find all kinds of fascinating info and like-minded people. Sure makes being an author much easier!

  4. Fascinating post Lynn! I did not know there was such a day. I’ve always loved the octopus, though I’ve never eaten one. But I have eaten squid and it is delicious, just don’t tell anyone. Now I feel guilty. I think making people aware of cephalopods is important since our oceans are not at the moments a friendly place for them with all the pollution. Yet, they do make for interesting characters in books, don’t they? 🙂

    1. Thank you, Karen! Yes, these are such interesting creatures, and you’re right about our oceans becoming more and more polluted. 🙁 I’ve ate bits of octopus once. Kind of rubbery! They sure do spice up literature and movies! Thank you for stopping in.

  5. Wow, nine brains, three hearts? You’ve definitely raised my awareness about octopi, my friend. However, you also made me more aware how absolutely incredible they are. Our kids once found a baby octopus stranded in a pool when we were rockpooling. It kept us all fascinated the entire afternoon, and we never stood a chance of catching it!

    1. Yes, Yvette, they are amazing creatures. So many wonderful creatures in this world. That sounds like an amazing adventure you and the kids had watching a baby octopus in the wild. Rock pooling sounds like a ton of fun!

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