Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Octopi fascinate me

My husband and I lived in the Los Angeles area for a few years in the '90's. I knew this job-related move was temporary, and I took advantage of some opportunities that I knew I wouldn't have in the South or Midwest when we were transferred back East.

One fall, I signed up to be a docent on the whale watch boats through the Cabrillo Marine Museum. Today it is the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. I had no idea the opportunities I would get during the docent training program.

One opportunity was getting to see an unusual octopus up close. Seems some fishermen off the coast of LA scooped this octopus in their nets. It was an octopus that lives deep in the ocean, a creature that was outside its normal depth, and had somehow managed to reach depths closer to the surface, close enough to be caught in the nets. The fishermen couldn't return it to the depths where octopi of that size exist.

The fishermen knew how unusual it was. They could have sold it for sushi, but they donated it to the folks at Cabrillo Marine Museum. The museum quickly got it into a temporary tank while they ordered a bigger, more appropriate tank for the creature's 9-foot tentacles.

During our next Tuesday night docent training, we were allowed to go back into the display area and see this beautiful, magnificent creature. I was in awe. It was huge -- the tentacles were amazing. It was a pinkish-peachish color. AMAZING. And I knew that I was getting an opportunity that few people get in seeing it up close.

One Monday (when the museum was closed), the workers came to feed the animals, and found the octopus dead in an empty tank. The octopus had pulled the plug on the tank and lost its life in the process. I found a newspaper story about it HERE. And HERE.

Sad for us -- having him (her?) there was an incredible opportunity for learning.

I suppose you're wondering why on earth I'm writing about the octopus -- well, there was a news story on television this morning that reminded me of that octopus. Check it out:

No comments:

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

Created by OnePlusYou -

Stat Counter