I was intrigued by a recent Newquay Blue Reef Aquarium press release mentioning special events and activities to celebrate World Octopus Day this coming Monday.
Not having previously heard of World Octopus Day I decided to do a bit of research. It turns out that it is not one of those officially sanctioned ‘World Days’, indeed its true name turns out not to be World Octopus Day, but rather International Cephalopod Awareness Day. It was established in 2007 by members of TONMO, The Octopus News Magazine Online forum, to bring attention to the diversity, conservation and biology of the world’s cephalopods. October 8 was chosen as an auspicious occasion for appreciating animals with a combination of 8 or 10 appendages – Octopus have eight arms while squid and cuttlefish have eight arms and two tentacles – the eighth day of the tenth month seeming an appropriate choice of date.
To increase the scope of the celebration four more days were added:
- October 8 – Octopus Day, for all the eight-armed species
- October 9 – Nautilus Night, a time for all the lesser-known extant cephalopods
- October 10 – Squid Day/Cuttlefish Day, or Squidturday, covering the tentacular species
- October 11 – Myths and Legends Day, for all the fantastical cephalopods of movies, literature and legend.
- October 12 – Fossil Day (to coincide with National Fossil Day), for all the incredible suckers that have gone extinct.
To find out more about this celebration of the world’s most intelligent invertebrates, go to the Cephalopod Awareness Day facebook page.