Octopuses are famous escape artists.
April 13, 2016 10:46 AM   Subscribe

 
As strange as octopodes seem to us, we must seem extremely weird to them.
posted by clockzero at 10:48 AM on April 13, 2016 [15 favorites]


Get busy livin, or get busy dying.
posted by bondcliff at 10:48 AM on April 13, 2016 [86 favorites]


Go Inky Go!

I love this soooooo much.
posted by futz at 10:50 AM on April 13, 2016 [18 favorites]


I started the day reading this story and it made me so happy. Go Inky!
posted by amnesia and magnets at 10:51 AM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Seriously, the older I get the less it makes sense to me to see animals in captivity anywhere, unless they're endangered.
posted by Dragonness at 10:52 AM on April 13, 2016 [33 favorites]


I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in his dreams. I hope.
posted by nubs at 10:54 AM on April 13, 2016 [71 favorites]


This is a great story, but for all we know Inky was just screwing around and suddenly found himself thrown in the ocean. "Shit! Where am I?"
posted by bongo_x at 10:54 AM on April 13, 2016 [15 favorites]


fuck yeah Inky stick it to the man
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:55 AM on April 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


They use tools, show problem-solving ability, and live in harmony with their environment. Maybe they don't appear to have a recognizable language, but seriously, who's the smarter species here?

We're lucky they're not keeping us in zoos.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:55 AM on April 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


and bongo_x, let's dispel the fiction that Inky didn't know exactly what he was doing
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:56 AM on April 13, 2016 [16 favorites]


I had no idea we had a National Aquarium.

".. in Napier.."

Oh. Marineland. Ug. That place sucked so bad (like a really really sad Seaworld). It looks like Inky made the right choice.

I just hope his kind of octopus is supposed to live in that part of NZ, because a predator out of place can do a lot of damage to the local wildlife and NZ gets enough of that already.
posted by shelleycat at 10:59 AM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


If I were a mad marine biologist, my aim would be to lengthen the lifespan of octopuses, because their short lives are probably the only thing preventing them from total global domination.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:59 AM on April 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


They might keep us in jail by accident. "We left that 2cm diameter door wide open. Stinky the human must love it here!"
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:00 AM on April 13, 2016 [38 favorites]


I think this is the second step in an elaborate con by the National Aquarium of New Zealand. The first step was convincing people that there was an octopus.
posted by Etrigan at 11:00 AM on April 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in his dreams. I hope.

This is so achingly poignant that it is making me verklempt. Reminds me of this similarly achingly poignant comic strip. Kudos, nubs.
posted by amnesia and magnets at 11:02 AM on April 13, 2016 [22 favorites]


Inky just ran away and joined the circus
posted by dov3 at 11:03 AM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Into the sea" must be kiwi for "a farm upstate."
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:04 AM on April 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


Yay for Inky! Octopuses are amazing! There was another wonderful octopus thread the other day and my husband mentioned that recently we got to go meet Lorelai, an octopus living at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, and it was just about the best thing that's ever happened to me. She changed colors a bit and she caressed and explored us with her tentacles and we got to pet her and she was just so amazing and beautiful and strong and graceful and impressive.

Her keeper made it clear to us that he was pretty sure that she was happy enough to stay because if she wanted to escape, she'd figure it out somehow. And she would! She's so smart! But she also gets to eat delicious fish and shrimp and clams without doing a whole lot of work to get them and they have a laundry basket full of toys with which she can play so she has deigned to grace the aquarium with her presence for at least a little longer.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:04 AM on April 13, 2016 [47 favorites]


Kudos, nubs.

Thanks but I kinda feel I have to give the writing credit to Stephen King on that one; all I got right was timing

posted by nubs at 11:05 AM on April 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


"We have another octopus, Blotchy, but he is smaller than Inky, and Inky had the personality.”


Also, you gotta love that embedded video.

"Holy shit!"
posted by gottabefunky at 11:05 AM on April 13, 2016 [16 favorites]


Hmm, looking further I'm not sure if Marineland was absorbed by the National Aquarium after it closed or not. They are basically right by each other and used to both exist separately, and I can understand by the Aquarium wants to downplay any association if there is one with the whole lying about where animals are sourced thing that went on in Marineland.
posted by shelleycat at 11:07 AM on April 13, 2016


On the one hand, I'm glad Inky made his escape, and is back in the sea he came from. On the other hand though, is the one octopus left in that aquarium: they say they're going to tighten up security, so that one can't also escape.

Oh Inky, why didn't you just take your tank-mate with you? Freedom for all!
posted by easily confused at 11:07 AM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is so achingly poignant that it is making me verklempt. Reminds me of this similarly achingly poignant comic strip. Kudos, nubs.

Damn-it, amnesia and magnets! :')

posted by Celsius1414 at 11:08 AM on April 13, 2016


They will bring in new octopus friends: Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde
posted by mochapickle at 11:08 AM on April 13, 2016 [15 favorites]


I am completely unable to read this story without it playing in Morgan Freeman's voice. AndyInky crawled to freedom through five hundredfifty yards of shit smelling foulness I can't even imagine, or maybe I just don't want to.
posted by Mayor West at 11:09 AM on April 13, 2016 [11 favorites]


"The designers reckoned after a few years, they might develop their own emotional responses. You know, hate, love, fear, anger, envy. So they built in a failsafe device."

"Which is what?"

"Four-year lifespan."
posted by I-baLL at 11:10 AM on April 13, 2016 [30 favorites]


This story reminds me of the time my kuhli loach, Bart, tried to escape from my aquarium

It was quite brilliant. He must have planned it for some time. The tank had an under-gravel filter, and Bart burrowed underneath, got into the uplift tube, and utilized the air pressure to rocket himself up and out of the tank!

Unfortunately there was no drain pipe in my kitchen leading to slow-moving rivers or streams, so Bart died on the tile floor, six feet from the aquarium. But I like to think that his last thoughts were of freedom, and satisfaction at having outsmarted me.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:11 AM on April 13, 2016 [13 favorites]


haha I read about it this morning. Totally awesome. Not just octopuses though even cows are known to break free out of slaughterhouses.
posted by sharona at 11:13 AM on April 13, 2016


This is my favorite achingly poignant cartoon.
posted by Bruce H. at 11:17 AM on April 13, 2016 [16 favorites]


Also, you gotta love that embedded video.

I like how the crab doesn't even seem to be fighting back. It's like, OK this is happening TAKE ME NOW CRAB LORD.
posted by jimmythefish at 11:17 AM on April 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


Oh Inky, why didn't you just take your tank-mate with you?

He knows what he did.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:18 AM on April 13, 2016 [18 favorites]


Joining the achingly-poignant cartoon thread: Tell Me Again Why I Can't Be a Manta Ray
posted by nicebookrack at 11:21 AM on April 13, 2016 [13 favorites]


mad marine biologist

"Here at the Octopodidae Education and Uplift Center, we teach various species the basics of problem solving using levers, inclined planes, and screws, and demonstrate how to fashion simple stone implements before releasing them back into the wild".
posted by figurant at 11:22 AM on April 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


I'm imagining Inky planning out his escape while throwing a baseball against the wall of his tank.
posted by brundlefly at 11:27 AM on April 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


In this election year, we are all Inky.
posted by Wordshore at 11:29 AM on April 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


I hope everyone who loves this story takes the time to read The Soul of an Octopus, which really blew my little mind.
posted by janey47 at 11:32 AM on April 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


Also here is my mom's take on the tank-mate situation:

I can’t help but wonder if Blotchy has been so demoralized by his name that he is too depressed to escape and limits his fantasies to the Home Shopping Network.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:38 AM on April 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


This is my favorite achingly poignant cartoon.

Here's an upbeat rewrite.
posted by jjj606 at 11:45 AM on April 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


What's the octopus equivalent for flippin' the bird? Because you know he did that on the way out.
posted by tommasz at 12:02 PM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


DreamWorks Pictures presents INKY!

Coming Summer 2017 to a theater near you!
posted by madajb at 12:04 PM on April 13, 2016


I love that we are rooting for Inky.
posted by theora55 at 12:10 PM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Octopus is one of my favorite seafoods to eat but I feel worse and worse each time because they're so intelligent and seem to have much more of a soul than other animals we consume, except for maybe pigs. I don't know how much longer the sheer deliciousness will outweigh the shame.
posted by mikesch at 12:12 PM on April 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


It was quite brilliant. He must have planned it for some time. The tank had an under-gravel filter, and Bart burrowed underneath, got into the uplift tube, and utilized the air pressure to rocket himself up and out of the tank!

That's what you get for letting him watch "Finding Nemo".
posted by briank at 12:20 PM on April 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


I do hope that they are correct and he made his way to the drain, and that there is not a sad little octopus mummy to be found year later behind a tank.
posted by tavella at 12:23 PM on April 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


DreamWorks Pictures presents INKY!

Coming Summer 2017 to a theater near you!


Bloody DreamWorks, always copying Pixar. (Seriously.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:26 PM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Huh! I had heard of The Soul of an Octopus (and was intrigued by the title, particularly when I realized it actually was a nonfiction book on that topic and not just a pretty title for fiction), but I didn't realize that it was by Sy Montgomery, who wrote The Octopus Scientists, a kids' book that we read for a mock awards thing at work. Really great stuff.
posted by sunset in snow country at 12:29 PM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Octopus is one of my favorite seafoods to eat but I feel worse and worse each time because they're so intelligent

Only eat unintelligent animals, like octopi that blow all their money on lottery tickets.
posted by Monochrome at 12:30 PM on April 13, 2016 [18 favorites]


Our family watched "Blackfish" the other night and now I know I can never go to Sea World again. But man, the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is one of my favorite places on earth and I was so looking forward to taking my daughter there soon. But Inky's escape makes me imagine the potential trauma these creatures endure. They do belong in the ocean. But aquariums are also where I found my love of marine life. It's complicated. I do know I am never eating octopus again! Inky, I hope you found your waves, buddy! Sorry we gave you such a terrible name.
posted by areaperson at 12:33 PM on April 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


a. I love this story!

b. This gives me the chance to tell one of my favorite octopus stories. So, I was being the accompanying spouse on my Bear's business trip to Baltimore, and I went to the aquarium there, where as usual I spent a lot of time at the octopus tank. (I love these gorgeously alien, smart, gracefully shimmying animals.) For my husband's birthday, a day off for him, I planned the day and one event was his own aquarium tour. The octopus took one look at my husband and, like me, fell for him. No matter which direction my husband moved in, the octopus moved that way as well, mirroring him as best an octopus can. As we noticed this, a quiet aquarium docent unpeeled himself from a nearby wall and asked if we wanted to know more about this octopus. Of course we did. The docent told us this octopus used to be housed next to the shellfish display. But as time went on the aquarium staff had noticed that the shells were there . . . but the shellfish who lived inside them were disappearing. It was odd. No one could understand it. The devastation seemed to happen at night, when the aquarium was closed. It took a long time before the aquarium staff figured out that the octopus was patiently waiting each night for the lights to go out, when it would then visit next door and feast. And then would take care to be back in its own tank, looking innocent, when the lights came on again the next day.

c. Free the octopi everywhere!
posted by bearwife at 12:37 PM on April 13, 2016 [34 favorites]


Octopus is one of my favorite seafoods to eat but I feel worse and worse each time because they're so intelligent

Only eat unintelligent animals, like octopi that blow all their money on lottery tickets.


"Don't talk to me about your stupid base-ten statistics, airbreather."
posted by Etrigan at 12:37 PM on April 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


Octopus is one of my favorite seafoods to eat but I feel worse and worse each time because they're so intelligent

This is how my vegetarianism began . . . I just couldn't eat pig or octopi or other undeniably smart animals any more. But fair warning, the more you learn the more you realize the rest of the meaty world is reasonably smart and emotional too. No more eating animals for me.
posted by bearwife at 12:41 PM on April 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


Octopus is one of my favorite seafoods to eat but I feel worse and worse each time because they're so intelligent

All life may be more intelligent than we think, including the trees.

"Okay, seriously, Chesney, you've been standing there for 1500 years, and your time is about up. The least you could do is fall over on that jackass with the chainsaw that just cut down my husband."
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:43 PM on April 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm so confused because I'm sitting here reading an article about a perfectly normal guy escaping from an aquarium. I mean, I don't see any octopi here...

Seriously, though, the ability of octopi being escape artists is absolutely one of my favorite things about playing that game, when you get to escape the aquarium, as a perfectly normal octopus.
posted by deadaluspark at 12:45 PM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


But then, this is Inky, and he’s always been a bit of a surprise octopus.”

Suprise Octopus . . . helllloooooo sockpuppet!
posted by petebest at 12:46 PM on April 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


sunset in snow country: I recently had the chance to see Sy Montgomery give an octopus lecture at a little library here in NH, where she lives. Fascinating creatures described by a fascinating woman! I highly recommend her books to anybody with a curious mind.
posted by ktoad at 12:47 PM on April 13, 2016


I had no idea octopi were so intelligent. I must now do ALL OF THE RESEARCH.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:48 PM on April 13, 2016


Seriously, the older I get the less it makes sense to me to see animals in captivity anywhere, unless they're endangered.

I agree completely.
posted by davebush at 1:07 PM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'd be worried if octopi were escaping aquariums and _not_ going to nearby bodies of water.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:08 PM on April 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


Seriously, the older I get the less it makes sense to me to see animals in captivity anywhere, unless they're endangered.

Sea Otters. Sea otters. sea otters and bonobos..... :<
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:18 PM on April 13, 2016


Honestly, I think the next dominant species on the planet with either be the Octopodes, the Crows, or the Raccoons.


That, or The Great Corvid-Cephalopod-Procyonid Alliance, brokered by the Sea Otters, which will finally bring an end to the Age of Primates.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:18 PM on April 13, 2016 [11 favorites]


I'd be worried if octopi were escaping aquariums and _not_ going to nearby bodies of water.


Remind me to check under my car seats before going home tonight.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:19 PM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


How would you like it if your parents named you after what you excreted when you were scared? Of course it ran away.
posted by srboisvert at 1:33 PM on April 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


When is an octopus tank not an octopus tank?

When it's ajar.

::drops mic::
posted by Splunge at 2:09 PM on April 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


That octopus is clever! I see them regularly here in the Caribbean Sea. They are hard to spot as they can mingle in with their surroundings and change color very quickly.
posted by VillaSeashell at 2:23 PM on April 13, 2016


@splunge
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvvjcQIJnLg (jar)
posted by dreamling at 2:24 PM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


c. Free the octopi everywhere!

I don't know that they need our help.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 2:49 PM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


the octopus was patiently waiting each night for the lights to go out, when it would then visit next door and feast

Probably wishing for a worthy opponent and not just a snack.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:08 PM on April 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


Are we sure this isn't just an elaborate campaign for Finding Dory?
posted by danhon at 3:39 PM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm having a really terrible few days, but Inkys escape made me giggle, and when I got super frustrated this afternoon, I said, out loud, "oh, I am so sliding down the drainpipe tonight after y'all are asleep."
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 3:44 PM on April 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


It is unclear to me if they have checked if the octopus' body was still in the drainpipe, or not.
posted by polymodus at 4:00 PM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Probably wishing for a worthy opponent and not just a snack.

That video gets a big gold star. I now think the dog sharks will join me in the chant to Free the Octopi!
posted by bearwife at 4:31 PM on April 13, 2016


This is what happens when you let the octopodes watch Finding Nemo.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:40 PM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Bulletin: The escapee is said to be 8-armed and dangerous.
posted by ecorrocio at 4:51 PM on April 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


>DreamWorks Pictures presents INKY!
>
>Coming Summer 2017 to a theater near you!

Bloody DreamWorks, always copying Pixar. (Seriously.)


I love Pixar, but the French got there first (Quicktime, Youtube version here).
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 4:54 PM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Octopus is one of my favorite seafoods to eat but I feel worse and worse each time because they're so intelligent

FPPs about octopi and how smart and interesting they are made me stop eating them a while back. They are indeed tasty, but I just can't enjoy it anymore. I'm a big old hypocrite who will happily eat other meat, but at this point octopi are in the "not for eating" category along with cats and dogs for me.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:12 PM on April 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


The whole sneaking out in the middle of the night to get a tasty snack next door, but returning to your tank in the morning is my absolute favorite thing about octopi in aquariums. Like when the dog only steals food off the table when you're not around only a million times better. They have us so figured out.
posted by lab.beetle at 8:56 PM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't think I have ever favorited so many posts in a thread. Long live Inky!
posted by ainsley at 9:23 PM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I wonder if octopi cephalomorphize us too.
posted by speicus at 10:11 PM on April 13, 2016 [11 favorites]


We're lucky they're not keeping us in zoos.

SOLAR CYCLE 0o41646563400
THE MONKEYS SUSPECT NOTHING
CONTINUE MONITORING
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:32 PM on April 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


This is my favorite achingly poignant cartoon.

“I can’t call home anymore, Isabel.”

“I know.”

posted by sebastienbailard at 11:24 PM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'M WIT YA INKY YA CRAZY EIGHT-LEGGED BASTARD
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:43 AM on April 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


This is what happens when you let the octopodes watch Finding Nemo.

Surely you mean the Shore-Tank Redemption?

Sorry...
posted by Pink Frost at 2:42 AM on April 14, 2016 [8 favorites]


speicus: "I wonder if octopi cephalomorphize us too."

"They have such personality. Might even be as intelligent. But those poor creatures, only four limbs and full of bones at that."
posted by Splunge at 10:31 AM on April 14, 2016 [6 favorites]




This doesn't seem unusual for octopuses. Can't shake the suspicion it may be desiccated in some corner and the drain pipe is just a nice story for a missing specimen.Or it's still in the exhibit hiding in the filtration. That happens a lot too.

Many octopus species live short lives but are very fecund. They can be a sustainable seafood choice when managed properly. seafoodwatch.org
posted by cephalopodcast at 12:18 AM on April 15, 2016


This Wired article says Inky was recovered, but my search-fu is too weak to confirm or refute it.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:32 PM on April 15, 2016


Yeah, I can't find anything either. Wondering if they are conflating it with one or two articles I found that are a little bit confusing in terms of mixing details of Inky's escape along with how he was brought to the aquarium in the first place?
posted by nubs at 1:30 PM on April 15, 2016


That was my guess.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:54 PM on April 15, 2016


An article tangentially related to Inky, with a link to an interesting short story about unconscious assumptions.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:10 AM on April 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeahhhh! Go Inky, go!
posted by metaveedub at 1:26 AM on April 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


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