Tenticular Gesticulation

Being a blog about my inexplicable fascination with octopodes

NOTE: I am not a marine biologist, I am just an idiot with a blog

Entries for October 2015

The Great Pumpkin is Coming Tonight!

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As we wait with Linus for the arrival of the Great Pumpkin, I give you the countdown to halloween. Tonight the wait is over! Let's celebrate by going trick-or-treating, just like the octopodes at SEA LIFE Aquarium in Carlsbad, CA.

Goodbye, Aunt Judy. Rest Well.

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Yesterday, my aunt Judy passed away. She was a beloved mother and dear sister; She was a devoted wife and partner; Most of all, she was a wonderful human being. I had the very good fortune to be able to visit with her for a few hours while on a business trip to Seattle a few weeks ago, and will cherish that memory forever. My heart goes out to her husband, her two daughters, and her two sisters. Also, seriously:  @$#% cancer.  (artwork by Camilla d’Errico)

Best Costume Ever

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You know what I love best about this costume (aside from it just being the cutest costume ever)? I've been staring at it for a while and I am still not positive which legs are the real ones.

Disability Awareness Month: My Gimpy Life

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October is National Disability Awareness Month, and in honor of that I wanted to share an episode of the great web series My Gimpy Life.  If you watched The Guild then you will remember actress Teal Sherer as Venom from the rival gaming guild. My Gimpy Life is her semi-autobiographical series about life as an actress in a wheelchair. And of course, this particular episode has tenticles.

Check Out This Argonaut. (Jason's Whereabouts Unknown)

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This is an Argonaut, also known as a Paper Nautilus. Although the female looks like a Nautilus, it is actually a pelagic octopus. The "shell" is actually a paper-thin egg case secreted by the female. The males are significantly smaller, and look like a normal octopus. This is just about the coolest thing I have seen all week.

My New Plan: Open a Small Hotel

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I stumbled across these bedding sets the other day, and honestly can't pick a favorite. I'll show a couple here, but you need to go look at the Ink and Rags etsy store to see the whole collection. Every one is beautiful, and there are at least two dozen. The only possible solution is for me to open a small hotel and decorate each room with a differnet tentacled bedset. And then sleep in a different room every night.

Bonus non-octopodal content:  They also have an excellent collection of Autism Awareness shirts. Check it out.

The CuttleFish: It's Not an Octopus

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I have been accused of being elitist for preferring the octopus over other cephalapods. So here, for all of  you CuttleBoners, here is a video about the cuttlefish. They're pretty cool.

Alton Brown vs 2,000 Suckers

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I love Alton Brown. I love the Monterey Bay Aquarium. So of course, I love this video.

Man vs. Octopus

Man vs. octopus ... octopus wins Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Posted by Alton Brown on Monday, October 5, 2015

Happy Indigenous Peoples' Day

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[IMPORTANT UPDATE: I initially credited thes drums to the Haida tribe. I was subsequently contacted by Corey Moraes, the artist, and corrected that they are Tsimshian. My sincere apologies for the original error. As always, any errors are due entirely to my own ignorance, and I welcome any corrections.]

Today being a holiday (and screw that Columbus guy, I'm down with the places celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day), here are a couple of really cool Tsimshian octopus drums created by artist Corey Moraes:

The Tsimshian are a Pacific Northwest tribe on the the British Columbia mainland, and neighbors of the Haida tribe. Here is a Haida legend called "The Devilfish Daughter" (Devil-fish is an English translation/enterpretation for the Haida word for octopus):

Long ago a native man who was a Shaman hauled his canoe onto the rocks with the intention of finding and killing the Devil-fish. But whilst he was searching, the great monster itself emerged from its hole and dragged the Shaman down into its dark deep den. His forlorn family felt for sure that he was dead and so they paddled mournfully away. The creature that had entrapped the man was a female Devil-fish and she had dragged him into the very deep recesses of the town where her father lived. He was Chief of the Devil-fish.

In time the Shaman and the Devil-fish married.

Many, many years passed and the man started to become home-sick and greatly wished to see his human wife and family. He pleaded with the Chief of the ?Devil-fish to let him go. After some hard thinking his request was granted. The Shaman soon departed and was given a canoe to depart with, so too was his wife, the Devil-fish. The two canoes were magical and sped along without oars.

Soon the enchanted canoes reached the Shaman’s father’s dwellings. They were laden with much wealth from the Devil-fish kingdom which he used as gifts in a great potlatch ceremony and he became a great Chief. After a while his own children finally found him and came to him. They were now adults and he organized a great home-coming feast, in fact, he held five great feasts, one following the other and at every one his human wife and children attended.

Eventually the Devil-fish wife pined more and more for her watery world. Then one day while she and her husband sat in her father-in-law’s house, they began to transform. In a brief moment the Devil-fish wife disappeared through the gaps between the floor planks. Her husband seeing his change form immediately took on his own Devil-fish form and his soft shiny body followed his wife between the floor planks. They both returned to the realm of the Devil-fish and her father.

OCTOber Tenth: She has TENticles On Her Fingers

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My dear, sweet sister sent me this picture along with the following note:

"I told my nail girl I was missing you after our visit and could she do an Octopus theme to cheer me up. Love you and my OCTOber nails."

OCTOber Ninth: Nine Legs?

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What do you think, does this octopode have nine legs? Does that make in a nonopode? The answer after the picture:

As the always-awesome website IFLScience.com reports, this octopus was collected in Puerto Angel, Oaxaca in 2012. Although she clearly has nine limbs, it turns out that two of them are the result of a single bifurcated arm that divided into two branches. This is not uncommon, frequently as the result of injury. (If you didn't know, an octopus will sometime just straight-up detatch an arm in order to escape danger, and then subsequently grow it back.)

OCTOber Seventh: The Seven-Arm Octopus

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Haliphron atlanticus,also known as the Seven-Arm Octopus, is one of the two largest species of octopus - right up there with the Giant Pacific Octopus. In fact, the single largest octopus ever documented was one of these amazing cephelapods - measuring in at 2.9 meters (9.5 feet) in length and weighing 61 kilograms (134.5 pounds). Their common name derives from the fact that the male of the species keeps its hectocotolys coiled up inside a sac beneath the right eye, giving it the appearance of only having seven tentacles. Check it out:


OCTOber Sixth: Henry the Hexapus

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Back in 2008, some British marine biologists found a very unique six-limbed octopus in a lobster pot off the coast of North Wales. The absence of two tentacles was not noticed until later, while the little guy was living in a tank at the Blackpool Sea Life Centre in North West England. He was named Henry the Hexapus (alluding to King Henry VIII, who famously had six wives). The abnormal limb count is not due to any accident, but appears to be a "natal anomoly". I wish I had a better picture, but this is all I could find:

OCTOber Fifth: Five Adorobilis Collected

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Back in July of this year, the very awesome Monterey Bay Aquarium was able to collect five dumbo octopodes, of a new species they are calling 'Adorabilis'. This is the news story that ran on KSBW. That is one very happy researcher.

OCTOber Fourth: Fore!

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And now, in honor of OCTOber Fourth, let us all sing the praises of PGA Tour golfer Billy Horschel. In 2013 in made his first appearance at the pro level in the U.S. Open, playing in these truly awesome blue octopus pants.

For OCTOber Third: Three Hearts

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In honer of OCTOber 3rd: Did you know that octopodes have three hearts? It's true!  They have two branchial hearts, one each for their two gills. Being molluscs, the gills are fully vascuralized and so each gill gets its own individualized heart. Then there is a third  systemic heart that pumps blood to the rest of the body.  Interestingly, octopus blood is rich in hemocyanin (a copper-rich protien) that is is dissolved in the blood plasma, as opposed to vertabrates which have hemoglobin (an iron-rich protien) that is carried in the red blood cells. Hemocyanin is much more efficient at transporting oxygen in cold conditions with low oxygen pressure.


Octopus 2 River of Fear

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In celebration of Oct. 2, I give you the trailer for Octopus 2: River of Fear. It looks to be a fine, fine motion picture.

Happy Octo-Bear!

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Sorry for the lack of updates this week, I've been on a business trip. The tenticular madness will resume tomorrow.