Giant pacific reef octopus at Sea Life Minnesota.
Photo by Rachel Prost
I was eight years old the day my fascination with cephalopods began. I filmed an octopus swimming through tubes at the Seattle Aquarium which sparked my curiosity, enjoyment, and interest in marine biology that only grew stronger from that day on. In Greek, cephalopod means “head foot.” It is the scientific classification for soft-bodied mollusks such as octopus, squid, cuttlefish, argonaut, and nautilus.
Cephalopod awareness days are officially Oct. 8-12. However, my love for these resourceful and intelligent creatures doesn’t stop me from celebrating every day. Each day is dedicated to a different cephalopod:
October 8 – Octopus Day, recognizing all eight (and sometimes seven) armed octopi species, including the ones scientists haven’t discovered yet.
October 9 – Nautilus Day, appreciating the lesser-known extant marine mollusk
October 10 – Squid/Cuttlefish Day, celebrating the mollusks with eight arms and two tentacles totaling ten appendages
October 11 – Myths and Legends Day, honoring the fantastical movies, literature, folklore, and legends inspired by cephalopods (the Kraken, Cthulhu, Ursula, etc.)
October 12 – Fossil Day, remembering the now extinct cephalopod ancestors that once swam the seas.
Cephalopod awareness days are all about appreciating and raising awareness of how unique these animals are. Although cephalopod awareness days are officially over, I hope by reading this article you were able to take a few short minutes out of your day to appreciate these animals that share our world.