D'AWWWWCTOPUS: post yr images of adorable octopuses here (no squid allowed)

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call all destroyer, Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:07 (eight months ago) Permalink

they truly are superior beings aren't they

marcos, Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:15 (eight months ago) Permalink

love 'em

your skeleton is ready to hatch (bizarro gazzara), Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:16 (eight months ago) Permalink

it's kind of a bummer that they are delicious

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:19 (eight months ago) Permalink

i can't bring myself to eat octopus anymore tbh

your skeleton is ready to hatch (bizarro gazzara), Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:20 (eight months ago) Permalink


mick signals, Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:23 (eight months ago) Permalink


mark s, Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:34 (eight months ago) Permalink


your skeleton is ready to hatch (bizarro gazzara), Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:35 (eight months ago) Permalink

lol yes i can't get it to post

mark s, Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:36 (eight months ago) Permalink

haha. lovely thraed

♫ very clever with maracas.jpg ♫ (Le Bateau Ivre), Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:36 (eight months ago) Permalink

I think I'm starting to warm to octopuses now.

calzino, Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:37 (eight months ago) Permalink

come on in, the water's lovely

(and filled with octopuses)

your skeleton is ready to hatch (bizarro gazzara), Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:37 (eight months ago) Permalink


mark s, Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:42 (eight months ago) Permalink

protection wheeeeee!

mark s, Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:43 (eight months ago) Permalink

you, a wise evolutionary scientist: "octopuses have learnt to armour themselves with coconut shells"
me, an internet clown: THEY FUCKING LOVE IT

mark s, Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:45 (eight months ago) Permalink


Matt DC, Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:47 (eight months ago) Permalink

pixar couldn't make the lil' un much cueter than that.

calzino, Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:56 (eight months ago) Permalink


mark s, Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:57 (eight months ago) Permalink

lord almighty look at that li'l guy

your skeleton is ready to hatch (bizarro gazzara), Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:59 (eight months ago) Permalink


mark s, Wednesday, 24 January 2018 17:00 (eight months ago) Permalink

lol i had one of those

mark s, Wednesday, 24 January 2018 17:04 (eight months ago) Permalink

Genuinely shocked I never thought to start a cute octopus thread.


Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Wednesday, 24 January 2018 17:20 (eight months ago) Permalink


Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Wednesday, 24 January 2018 17:28 (eight months ago) Permalink

If the world lasted long enough, would the world’s animals evolve to a most-charismatic-to-humans state?

Hunt3r, Thursday, 5 April 2018 17:38 (six months ago) Permalink

That's a very good point - I worked with a conservation agency one time and they referred to "charismatic megafauna" - as in, people are only motivated to save large, appealing animals.

startled macropod (MatthewK), Thursday, 5 April 2018 22:20 (six months ago) Permalink

Or, in this thread's case, animals that show surprising intelligence and occasionally psychic abilities regarding football matches.

To try to answer Hunt3r's questions seriously, charisma is one way to go, another would be to taste good to humans, or to be hardy enough to survive in radically different (read: warmer) environments.

Meme Imfurst (Leee), Thursday, 5 April 2018 22:38 (six months ago) Permalink

"large" as in "bigger than nematodes" - octopuses are both charismatic and megafauna

startled macropod (MatthewK), Thursday, 5 April 2018 23:25 (six months ago) Permalink

Now reading the Peter Godfrey-Smith OTHER MINDS book about octopus intelligence and it is soooooo goooood

Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Friday, 6 April 2018 00:39 (six months ago) Permalink

I find the actual anatomy of octopus brains rather fascinating. Essentially, it seems most of it is in two lobes behind each eye processing visual information, with relatively little mass devoted to integrating everything into unified neural correlates of the world outside. Their esophagus passes through their brain.


Also worth noting, octopuses do not recognize themselves in the mirror test. Really no fault to them, we can't all be magpies, bottlenose dolphins, killer whales, or some primates.

They're similar to dogs in this respect, though of course dogs can recognize other individuals and do appear to have some second order theory of mind, if lacking a first order one.

Zhoug speaks to you, his chosen ones (Sanpaku), Friday, 6 April 2018 02:09 (six months ago) Permalink

I see cephalopods as brilliant examples of "the other way to do it" - we centralise our nervous systems so that sensory inputs can be compared, limbs can be cross-coordinated, etc. whereas they are kind of like "intelligent tissue" in that much of their sophistication is achieved in a decentralised, democratic way, an independent control ganglion for each tentacle, communicating with the distributed brain shown above. Or maybe we can equate the tentacle ganglia with our spinal cord, which is the vertebrate centre for embodied intelligence and coordination (and gets very little respect for its sophistication, because it does its work literally without calling attention to its activity). Cephalopod skin is one of their most interesting attributes - its reconfigurable texture and colour is a whole other interaction and communication system, and induces reactions in other cephalopods the same way that we use language, but it seems like a more direct coupling of influence rather than something encoded and decoded.

startled macropod (MatthewK), Friday, 6 April 2018 04:15 (six months ago) Permalink

Or to stretch a metaphor, maybe the human CNS is like the old mainframe systems with multiple terminals running from a common resource, whereas an octopus resembles the Internet of Things with small agents processing independently and messaging to coordinate.

startled macropod (MatthewK), Friday, 6 April 2018 04:26 (six months ago) Permalink

this link won't work but add a parenthesis onto it after it doesn't:


illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Friday, 6 April 2018 11:19 (six months ago) Permalink

the v enjoyable lrb review of the peter godfrey-smith book has this:

Like humans, they have centralised nervous systems, but in their case there is no clear distinction between brain and body. An octopus’s neurons are dispersed throughout its body, and two-thirds of them are in its arms: each arm can act intelligently on its own, grasping, manipulating and hunting. (Octopuses have arms, not tentacles: tentacles have suckers only at their tips. Squid and cuttlefish have a combination of arms and tentacles.) In evolutionary terms, the intelligence of octopuses is an anomaly. The last common ancestor between octopuses on the one hand, and humans and other intelligent animals (monkeys, dolphins, dogs, crows) on the other, was probably a primitive, blind worm-like creature that existed six hundred million years ago. Other creatures that are so evolutionarily distant from humans – lobsters, snails, slugs, clams – rate pretty low on the cognitive scale. But octopuses – and to some extent their cephalopod cousins, cuttlefish and squid – frustrate the neat evolutionary division between clever vertebrates and simple-minded invertebrates. They are sophisticated problem solvers; they learn, and can use tools; and they show a capacity for mimicry, deception and, some think, humour.

and a couple of great anecdotes:

Since a comparison with the human brain tells us so little, scientists turn to the octopus’s behaviour as the best indicator of its cognitive power. But here researchers are often frustrated by what Godfrey-Smith describes as a ‘mismatch’ between anecdotal reports and experimental studies. In the lab, octopuses do fairly well: they can navigate mazes, use memory to solve simple puzzles and unscrew jars and child-proof bottles to get food (octopuses have also been filmed opening jam jars from the inside). Yet it can take octopuses a surprisingly long time to be trained in new behaviours, which some researchers have taken as a sign of their cognitive limitations


In 1959, Peter Dews, a Harvard scientist, trained three octopuses there to pull a lever to obtain a chunk of sardine. Two of the octopuses, Albert and Bertram, pulled the lever in a ‘reasonably consistent’ manner. But the third, Charles, would anchor his arms on the side of the tank and apply great force to the lever, eventually breaking it and bringing the experiment to a premature end. Dews also reported that Charles repeatedly pulled a lamp into his tank, and that he ‘had a high tendency to direct jets of water out of the tank; specifically … in the direction of the experimenter’. ‘This behaviour,’ Dews wrote, ‘interfered materially with the smooth conduct of the experiments, and is … clearly incompatible with lever-pulling.’ He concluded that his experiment was a partial failure.


Captive octopuses appear to be aware of their captivity; they adapt to it but also resist it. When they try to escape, which is often, they tend to wait for a moment they aren’t being watched. Octopuses have flooded laboratories by deliberately plugging valves in their tanks with their arms. At the University of Otago, an octopus short-circuited the electricity supply – by shooting jets of water at the aquarium lightbulbs – so often that it had to be released back into the wild. Jean Boal, a cephalopod researcher at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, reported feeding octopuses in a row of tanks with thawed squid, not an octopus’s favourite food. Returning to the first tank, Boal found that the octopus in it hadn’t eaten the squid, but was instead holding it out in its arm; watching Boal, it slowly made its way across the tank and shoved the squid down the drain. (The third-century Roman rhetorician Claudius Aelianus, a more sympathetic observer than Aristotle, identified the octopus’s main characteristic as ‘mischief and craft’.)

Fizzles, Friday, 6 April 2018 12:03 (six months ago) Permalink

charles t. octopus sounds like a real asshole, i like his style

star wars ep viii: the bay of porgs (bizarro gazzara), Friday, 6 April 2018 12:15 (six months ago) Permalink

That review is fascinating, I think I need more reading on this subject.

Hunt3r, Friday, 6 April 2018 19:08 (six months ago) Permalink


startled macropod (MatthewK), Wednesday, 11 April 2018 23:47 (six months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

a scaly boi!

topless from 11am (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 21 June 2018 19:50 (three months ago) Permalink

It almost looks like the head of an elephant!

Martin Landau Ballet (Leee), Thursday, 21 June 2018 19:56 (three months ago) Permalink

Did you guys see the dawctopus who landed on the guy's windshield?

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Thursday, 21 June 2018 19:58 (three months ago) Permalink

(Not a joke.)

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Thursday, 21 June 2018 19:58 (three months ago) Permalink

i uh waht

topless from 11am (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 21 June 2018 20:06 (three months ago) Permalink

wtf sky octopuses are a thing now?

topless from 11am (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 21 June 2018 20:13 (three months ago) Permalink


everything else is insane and freakish in the world right now so WHY NOT?

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Thursday, 21 June 2018 20:14 (three months ago) Permalink

(There was a storm in China and the seas got so rough that aquatic animals were flying everywhere and landing on cars!)

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Thursday, 21 June 2018 20:15 (three months ago) Permalink

Paul Thomas Anderson is kicking himself rn

kelp, clam and carrion (sic), Thursday, 21 June 2018 20:17 (three months ago) Permalink

lol yep - immediately thought of Magnolia when I first saw it

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Thursday, 21 June 2018 20:19 (three months ago) Permalink

🎵eight is the loneliest number🎵

topless from 11am (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 21 June 2018 20:32 (three months ago) Permalink

hee hee

kelp, clam and carrion (sic), Thursday, 21 June 2018 23:22 (three months ago) Permalink

bg u are a gift

gbx, Friday, 22 June 2018 00:30 (three months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

have you seen a cuter beverage?

kelp, clam and carrion (sic), Wednesday, 11 July 2018 21:15 (three months ago) Permalink

This is a high-quality thread despite the squidphobic title

nonsensei (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 14 July 2018 11:39 (three months ago) Permalink

look if you wanna see squid you're welcome to start your own thread ffs

look, you’re just gonna get gravy on the baby sometimes 🤷‍♂️ (bizarro gazzara), Saturday, 14 July 2018 11:45 (three months ago) Permalink

that is a reasonable compromise, or, if you will, a squid pro quo

nonsensei (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 13:52 (three months ago) Permalink

my beautiful thread, ruined

BIG RICHARD ENERGY (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 13:53 (three months ago) Permalink

eight arms to fp u

BIG RICHARD ENERGY (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 13:56 (three months ago) Permalink

What's a few arms between friends?

Abercromb Metrion Finchos (Leee), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 17:19 (three months ago) Permalink


Abercromb Metrion Finchos (Leee), Friday, 20 July 2018 15:38 (three months ago) Permalink

two months pass...


When humans take the drug MDMA, versions of which are known as molly or ecstasy, they commonly feel very happy, extraverted, and particularly interested in physical touch. A group of scientists recently wondered whether this drug might have a similar effect on other species—specifically, octopuses, which are seemingly as different from humans as an animal can be. The results of their experiment, in which seven octopuses took MDMA, were “unbelievable.”

Just think about an octopus—other than their impressive intelligence, they have little in common with humans. We’ve been heading along different branches of the evolutionary tree for 500 million years. Rather than one localized brain with a cortex, or a highly folded outer layer like our brains have, an octopus’s decentralized nervous system includes control centers for each arm in addition to a brain.

Given how different we are, Gül Dölen and her colleague Eric Edsinger wondered whether the chemistry behind human social behaviors—the system controlling the serotonin molecule—also existed in the solitary, asocial octopus. They began by analyzing the octopus genome, and found that octopuses, too, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters, proteins responsible for moving serotonin molecules into brain cells. Serotonin is the molecule generally considered to be responsible for feeling good. When humans take MDMA, it binds to serotonin transporter proteins and changes the way serotonin travels between brain cells, likely producing the warm and fuzzy high and perhaps the increased extraversion that the drug is known for.

The fun began when the researchers gave MDMA to seven Octopus bimaculoides octopuses inside laboratory tanks. They hoped to test whether the animals behaved more socially after receiving a dose of MDMA—a sign that the drug bound to their serotonin transporters.

After hanging out in a bath containing ecstasy, the animals moved to a chamber with three rooms to pick from: a central room, one containing a male octopus and another containing a toy. This is a setup frequently used in mice studies. Before MDMA, the octopuses avoided the male octopus. But after the MDMA bath, they spent more time with the other octopus, according to the study published in Current Biology. They also touched the other octopus in what seemed to be an exploratory, rather than aggressive, manner.

The scientists took this to mean that despite our vastly different brains, social behavior is built into the very molecules coded by our DNA, Dölen explained.

“An octopus doesn’t have a cortex, and doesn’t have a reward circuit,” Dölen, assistant professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, told Gizmodo. “And yet it’s able to respond to MDMA and produce the same effects, in an animal with a totally different brain organization. To me, that means we really need to appreciate that the business end of these things is at the level of the molecule.”

You’re probably curious: did the octopuses freak out? The scientists didn’t discuss such behavior in the paper, because it’s hard to quantify without anthropomorphizing the octopuses—Dölen warned me that the following is anecdotal evidence and not scientific observation. But yes, the octopuses acted like they took ecstasy. At first, when they received a little too much MDMA, they breathed erratically and turned white. But on lower doses, one animal “looked like it was doing water ballet,” swimming around with outstretched arms. Another spent part of the time doing flips, and another seemed especially interested in minor sounds and smells.

“This was such an incredible paper, with a completely unexpected and almost unbelievable outcome,” Judit Pungor, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oregon not involved in the study, told Gizmodo. “To think that an animal whose brain evolved completely independently from our own reacts behaviorally in the same way that we do to a drug is absolutely amazing.”

There are limitations to the study, of course. Dölen pointed out that seven octopuses isn’t a large enough sample size to show differences between how males and females react to MDMA. She’d like to further test the changes in behavior, as well as what happens if they block the serotonin transmitter before giving the MDMA. Such a test would convince Dölen that she was really seeing the affects of MDMA on serotonin transporters. Pungor also wanted to test whether the drug would have different effects on octopuses of varying ages, or whether an octopus’s upbringing changed its sociality.

It’s clear that psychoactive drugs like MDMA, LSD, and magic mushrooms are going through a scientific renaissance—they’re being studied as potential treatments for depression and PTSD—and as their stigma decreases, scientists are more open to studying them, and more research funding becomes available. This could be important for our understanding of animal and human brains.

“People are beginning to recognize that these drugs are powerful tools for understanding how the brain evolved,” Dölen told Gizmodo. “They’re such strong activators of these behaviors. It’s not subtle.”


🧛🏻‍♂️ F A T 🧛🏻‍♂️ D R A C U L A 🧛🏻‍♂️ (bizarro gazzara), Friday, 21 September 2018 08:36 (four weeks ago) Permalink

The results of their experiment, in which seven octopuses took MDMA, were “unbelievable.”

got this far & c+p’d to say I bet I find the results 100% super-believable

Gibing The Amethyst (sic), Friday, 21 September 2018 08:51 (four weeks ago) Permalink

the scientists missed a trick by not playing the octopuses a selection of bangin' tunes imo

🧛🏻‍♂️ F A T 🧛🏻‍♂️ D R A C U L A 🧛🏻‍♂️ (bizarro gazzara), Friday, 21 September 2018 08:53 (four weeks ago) Permalink

as an octopus rights advocate. I'd like to do a few tests on the MDMA they are using, just make sure it is up to lab quality standards!

calzino, Friday, 21 September 2018 08:55 (four weeks ago) Permalink


― Matt DC, Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:47 (seven months ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

imago, Friday, 21 September 2018 09:08 (four weeks ago) Permalink

haha bizarro

niels, Friday, 21 September 2018 10:52 (four weeks ago) Permalink

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