Horrors from Beneath: The Octopus and the Mantis Shrimp

Two more in the series of Why I Don’t Swim in the Ocean. I would, if I could convince a pair of divers to swim below me at all times. Watch these videos and you’ll see why.

The Octopus

and

The Mantis Shrimp, ancestor to all clowns. Have a good time trying to sleep tonight.

Enjoy your next swim!

h/t Griffin Boyce

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Aquatic Dragon Sighted!

Aquatic Dragon off the coast of Victoria

Aquatic Dragon off the coast of Victoria

What a day for nature lovers! Classic Rock radio 101 has reported the sighting of a rare Aquatic Dragon off the coast of Victoria, BC! Praise Cthulhu, we thought they had been hunted to extinction, along with their distant cousins, the Pacific Tree Octopus. This amazing creature, nearly 100m from its savagely curved beak to its tippiest tentacle, once blotted out the skies in its annual migrations from the Arctic plateaus to a still-undiscovered location somewhere in the South Pacific. Such were its numbers, and its fierce fighting ability, that it seemed unthinkable the species could ever be threatened.

That was, of course, before the advent of aircraft. Their soft, boneless bodies proved no match for slashing propellers and insatiable jet intakes, and for a generation or more the skies were greasy with carnage. You think you know how calamari was invented? Let me tell you, it was the act of a hardscrabble wartime population desperate for protein of any kind. When the planes flew overhead, housewives would run into the streets with buckets to catch the crudely hacked pieces of Aquatic Dragon that fell in a slimy torrent from the skies.

And soon, all too soon, it was all over.

WWII had done irreparable damage to the breeding population, and it is believed that nuclear tests in the South Pacific may have destroyed their traditional wintering grounds, leaving them with an unsustainable, nomadic, and doomed few survivors. This latest discovery is heartening in the extreme, for this juvenile specimen attests to the atavistic survival of at least two healthy Aquatic Dragons somewhere off the coast of Vancouver Island. My old alma mater, Miskatonic University, is gathering specialists in marine biology and herpetology to undertake an expedition in search of the creatures.

Hey, what could go wrong?

Operation Global Media Domination: the Occupy Vancouver Situation

Octopi Vancouver

The Occupy Vancouver Media Domination Situation? Frankly, it sucks.

Occupy Vancouver sucks for hits, Google features nothing but page after page of mainstream media when you search for the term, and nobody in this town even seems to know I’m back from Yellowknife, let alone at Occupy Vancouver every other damn day/night. But that won’t stop me.

And it won’t stop me from boasting, either. Because I may not have the hits, but I have very glossy retweeters and atters, so there. I’ve lost the direct links to Neil Gaiman and William Gibson (once my favorite Starbucks customer), but that’s just because they talk almost as much as I do!

not to mention a hit-boosting RT of my article from OccupyVancouver and Bianca Jagger. Yes, THAT Bianca Jagger; how many do you think there are? She’s pretty awesome on Twitter, so I doubt the world could hold more than one.

I always say thank you, because I have fucking GREAT manners, bitchez.

and she has excellent manners as well:

And so, even though I spent 15 minutes of my Twitter for the Occupy Movement workshop telling people not to cultivate celebrities as a media strategy, it does make for a quick and popular (and validating) blog post. So, do as I tweet, not as I blog? Or something? It’s been a long day.

Speaking of Validation:

That’ll teach the Province to suggest I intern for them!

Tentacle Wars: Octopus vs Cuttlefish in a battle to the death!

Cuttlefish VS Octopus

Cuttlefish VS Octopus

Yes, we’ve had a lot of videos around these parts lately, but how could I possibly pass up video of a spanner-stealing octopus and what at first seems like a simple bunch of floating seaweed, before breaking loose into All Hell?

and from the diver’s comments:

I was undoing the bolts on the Current Meter housing for routine servicing, when the octopus crept out of the housing, and demanded to have my spanner. I am sure the cuttlefish must have been biding his time on this octopus. But the octopus could not resist my spanner, it made repeated attempts to steal it as I tried to undo the bolts. This game of taking my spanner went on for several minutes. Eventually I gave up on the bolts and took out my camera, which I had with me to record the condition of the Current Meter…

Each year from April to June the cuttlefish off Sydney become extremely aggressive. They often follow divers and sometimes attack them. But they love octopus. I had a repeat experience last year in May, when I again had an octopus come out of its lair to try and take a shiny buckle which was attached to a rope. After a few minutes a cuttlefish attacked the octopus exactly as before. Unfortunately for the cuttlefish, this time the octopus managed to keep half its body free, and after a minute of intense struggle it slipped out of the cuttlefish’s grip, and, I kid you not, sat on the cuttlefish’s head. So there we were, I am looking at them holding my breath, the octopus is sitting on the cuttlefish’s head, and the octopus is looking at me with a “Can you believe it” expression. After another minute of stillness, the octopus shot off in a cloud of ink, leaving the cuttlefish confused and exhausted. Unfortunately I did not have camera handy.

So, word to the wise: as we’ve said before, ANYTHING in the sea could be a hungry cephalopod, so just stay on dry land, why doncha?

Servicey Sunday!

Southeast Asian Sea Life: Memorize and BE PREPARED

Southeast Asian Sea Life: Memorize and BE PREPARED

I hope that clears up any confusion about spotting the mimic octopus in the wild. Simply put: you can’t.

If you wonder, on occasion, why this blog is quite so tentactular, think about this; the Mimic Octopus was discovered in 1998 off the coast of Sulawesi. In 1997 I was swimming in the ocean off the coast of Sulawesi and THESE THINGS WERE DOWN THERE, probably looking like other things or like no things at all but they were DOWN THERE THE WHOLE TIME BEING STEALTHY AND WE DIDN’T KNOW IT.

Goddam.

Seriously, this is why I don’t swim anymore. Who needs aliens when we have cephalopods?