October 8, 2016

International Octopus Day – October 8

Each year on October 8, people everywhere pay tribute to one of the most unique creatures that inhabit our planet – the octopus:

The date October 8 was chosen to celebrate the Octopus day because the octopus has eight arms. It is clear why the eighth day  in Octoberwas chosen. October was chosen because "Octo" means eight in Latin, and October was the eighth month in ancient Roman calendar. 

On the occasion of Octopus Day, here are some facts compiled to better acquaint you with this remarkable resident of the oceans.

Octopuses (not "octopi", which is considered grammatically incorrect) have three hearts.

Octopuses are among the earliest living creatures known to have occupied our planet. Fossils of their ancestors dating back to almost 300 million years ago have been discovered, implying that they preceded the earliest dinosaurs.

The size of a new born octopus is about the same as that of a flea.


Octopuses are very intelligent. Having about 500 million neurons distributed in their brains and arms, they can perform activities beyond instinctive reactions. They can plan, draw conclusions and solve problems.


Octopus wrestling competitions became a popular American West Coast sport in the nineteen-sixties. Such performances were carried out by human divers who grappled with octopuses in shallow waters in an attempt to drag them out to the shore.
Picture showing divers holding their catch, a giant Pacific octopus that they had dragged out of the water in the 1963 World Octopus Wrestling Championships
 People in Korea eat live octopuses.

Laboratory experiments on vertebrates without using anesthesia is prohibited by law in many countries. This is especially true for octopuses, due to their high intelligence that is assumed to aggravate their agony.

The word "octopus" implies that it has eight legs. Actually it has six arms and two legs.

The blue-ringed octopus is one of the most venomous marine animals in the world. Its bite can kill a human being.

There are about 300 known species of octopuses, distinguished by a variety of colors and sizes. The highest recorded weight of an octopus belonged to a giant pacific octopus that weighed about 272 kilos (about 600 lbs).

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