Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Murky Depths

During my trip to the Tampa Aquarium one of the most captivating creatures I came across was also one of the most challenging to get a good look at - the Octopus. 

At first I approached the dark tank not sure what I was supposed to be looking at. Then I saw one long arm pressed against the glass towards the bottom. He was hiding in the shadows under a rocky canopy. 

He was difficult to see and most other people at the aquarium passed by without a second look. I knelt down to be at his eye level. He moved his tentacle aside and shifted to get a better look at me. 

We started at each other for a few moments.

For such a foreign looking animal people often over look how intelligent they are. Beautifully sensitive and surprisingly powerful, there is a long list of things they are capable of. They can detect signs of underwater volcanic activity well before any tangible clues become evident and they have an astonishing ability to change the color and texture of their skin in the blink of an eye.

There are also many stories of octopi who have escaped tanks only to be found walking around in a lab or breaking in to food storage containers.

We continue to study each other through the glass that divides our two lives and I wonder if he requires any special precautions.

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