OMG, baby octopodes!

National Geographic's Enric Sala took this photo during an expedition in Gabon. He and another researcher were using a remote operated vehicle to explore the ocean off the coast of that country's Loango National Park.

When we picked up the shell from the ROV’s arm, to our surprise, a small octopus came out of the shell. It was a female that laid her eggs inside the shell. We put shell and octopus in a tank with seawater, and after one minute thousands of octopus larvae started to stream out of the shell. The octopus eggs were hatching! That was the first time we had observed such a magnificent show. The larvae were changing coloration from transparent with dark spots to brown, and swimming like squid – although on a millimeter scale.

Read the rest of Sala's posts from Gabon

Via Miriam Goldstein


  1. It is a tad disappointing that there is no video…  cute photo though

    This is what I could dig up:

  2. Per Websters, I believe it is octopuses (couild not resist sorry)

    Thanks for the reminder of this video!

    1. octopuses is preferred, although octopodes is ‘grammatical’ .Fowler also calls octopodes “rightly rejected” and “pedantic”

      1. Fowler strongly disliked the use of foreign words and phrases so I wouldn’t ask him for his opinion on American Internet English. 
        It’s a tradition to correct the plural of octopus.  Whichever valid form is used. 

        1. well, usage is king, which is why ‘octopi’ should be considered good english, but ‘octopodes’, unless one is being jocular, well – you just sound like a douche.

          I think that’s a good summary of the OED entry on octopus pluralization.

          1. OED?  Is that some British publication?    =]  
            If usage is king, there are more native English speakers in the U.S. than in the rest of the world together. 

            Everybody knows they are only called ‘octopi’ when there are roughly 3.141 59265 of them.

    2. EXCUSE ME, you FECKLESS MORONS, who are doing the entire LANGUAGE WRONG, but the REAL and ONLY CORRECT way of pluralizing that word is to say “an octopus and also another octopus.”

      You’re WELCOME. JEEZ. 

    3. These terms all work I guess, but the actual, correct term is ‘octopussies’.  The term for the mother octopus is ‘octomo……

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