|Snagged from the internet|
Last week a friend of mine told me about a Netflix documentary that she enjoyed tremendously, entitled "My Octopus Teacher." I knew little about them, but once I watched it, I got really interested and read all I could find about octopuses. Of course I remembered the old Beatle's song, "The Octopus's Garden," written by Ringo Starr back in 1968 and still available to listen to today. I can still hear the tune rolling around in my head, although I didn't listen to it again because I was afraid of getting an earworm. (It happened anyway.)
The documentary follows the story of a man, Craig Foster, who was diving in the cold waters off the coast of Africa, when he saw an octopus hiding among a cloak of shells.
Enchanted, he began following this incredibly shy creature, trying to prove he wasn't a predator by staying very still in her presence. For weeks she evaded him: hiding in her den, camouflaging herself, or pushing her liquid body into the nearest crack to escape.
And then, one day, she approached him and sent out a tentacle to explore this strange creature. Over the period of about a year, he went every day to see her and they began a wonderful relationship. I've since learned about how incredibly smart these creatures are, and that they can recognize faces, as well as do some amazing things, like unscrewing the lids of jars and solving complex puzzles.
He got her to trust him enough to crawl onto his chest and let him "pet" her, if stroking an octopus can be considering petting. I loved the documentary and now know far more than I ever thought I would about cephalopods (the genus that includes octopuses, cuttlefish, nautiloids, and squid). He stayed with her until she mated and cultivated her thousands of offspring, after which she died. I was heartbroken because he was so overcome. Anyway, it's a really beautiful story of the relationship between two very different species. I'll never see octopuses the same way again.