When out to dinner with other people, I'm often asked, “Would you like to share some grilled octopus?” And, after I shriek, “NEVER!!!” there are usually several follow-up queries, like “Are you allergic?,” “Are you vegan?,” or “Are you having a seizure?” I then proceed to school them about why eating octopuses is dangerous to their health, career, and even the American way of life.
Why eating octopuses is dangerous.
Octopuses (not octopi) are considered a culinary delicacy throughout Asia, and demand for these inscrutable invertebrates is spreading around the globe. But how dangerous is eating octopuses? In a word, extremely. A single blue-ringed octopus packs enough venom to kill 20 humans or the entire viewership of “The Adventures Of Pluto Nash.” Yet, deadly toxins aren't the primary reason that eating octopuses is dangerous.
1.) Octopuses are super-intelligent.
Studies have shown that octopuses have exceptionally large brains, and remarkable problem-solving abilities. In fact, octopus vulgaris—aka, the common octopus—meets every criterion for the definition of intelligence: they can learn, reason abstractly, and even open a pickle jar without banging it on a countertop first. In other words, they're not mouth-breathing morons like lobsters.
2.) Octopuses are masters of camouflage.
Octopuses can instantly modify the color and texture of their skin to blend into any environment. They're so good at hiding that no one can even be sure how long they've been on this planet because their gelatinous soft bodies don't fossilize. Mind-blowing, right? Though, it makes you wonder why a creature with so few predators is so concerned about never being seen, even after its death! Horrifyingly, the answer is all too obvious.
3.) Octopuses are actual aliens.
A recent study found that octopuses have alien DNA. It's true, their genome shows an unprecedented level of complexity, with a staggering 33,000 protein-coding genes—far more than any other animal on Earth (including us). So, where did they come from? Castilon, probably. Why are they here? To watch us, duh. They're clearly agents of an ancient, space-faring race of colossal cephalopods who've left them behind to monitor Earth's ocean temperatures. That's just science.
4.) Octopuses are unstoppable.
Once our warming seas rise and our oceans overrun the land, these monstrous mollusks will return to reclaim the planet. I mean, how are we going to stop eight-tentacled amorphous aggressors rampaging through our flooded cities? With guns? Come on, they're invertebrates with three hearts, and a decentralized nervous system—bullets will just make them angry. Their only weakness is boiling water, but where are we going to find thousands of pots that big? Face it, resistance is futile.
5.) Octopuses are vengeful mo-fos.
Eventually, our new octo-overlords will ask their operatives how they were treated by humans, and how do you think that'll go for you? That's right, sickos, so go ahead and gorge yourselves on calamari while you can, because when the space-squids return, you'll be first in line to get ground up into mollusk-meal. Meanwhile, I'll be safe and sound toiling away in the undersea lobster mines.
Octopus photo by Victor De Valles ibañez