The Octopus, Dadu and Me - Lucy Ann Unwin
BLOGTOUR - Guest post from Author, Lucy Ann Unwin:
Top 5: Species of Octopus
One of my favourite things about writing is the random bits of new knowledge you accrue along the
way. Writing The Octopus, Dadu and Me, I felt like me, and my main character Sashi, were
learning together — and some of the facts we came across! Amazing! Did you know Octopus skin
doesn’t just change colour, but also how reflective it is, how see-through it is AND its texture. Or
that the biggest octopus is longer arm tip to arm tip than an adult giraffe is tall? The best things I
learned were in the book Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith, which is utterly fascinating and I
definitely recommend it to any adults wanting to take a deep dive into octopus intelligence.
In the meantime, I’m going to share 5 of my new favourite octopus species with you…
5. Blue Ringed Octopus
Beautiful and deadly — what more could you want? I was hypnotised the first time a saw a
picture of one of these gorgeous creatures. They’re small — under 20cm — and docile if left
alone, but each one carries enough venom to kill 26 adult humans within minutes.
4. Giant Pacific Octopus
These beasts demand your respect on size alone. The giraffe fact is about one of these.
According to Guinness World Records the biggest doesn’t weigh much — at 136 kg it’s no
heavier than a large goat — but it has an arm span of 9.8 metres. (That’s actually closer to
TWO adult giraffes)
3. Dumbo Octopus
These guys were nicknamed “Dumbo” octopuses because of the ear-like flaps on either side of
their head — they’re actually fins and they use them to propel themselves through the water,
instead of using jet propulsion like other octopuses. They’re the deepest dwelling species,
living at depths of 1000 to 7000 metres, and, importantly, if you want a cute octopus GIF, these
are the guys to search for!
2. Ghost Octopus
Obviously I have to love it as it’s been nicknamed “Casper” after that cute 90s cartoon Casper
The Friendly Ghost, but the real reason the Ghost Octopus makes the list is because it’s so
recently discovered. The very first one was spotted in the waters off Hawaii in 2016. It makes
me wonder what amazing deep sea creature we’ll learn about next…
1. Common Octopus
As their name suggests, the common octopus might not be as rare as the others I’ve listed, but
they are just as fascinating and mysterious. Besides… if you ever meet an octopus, it’s likely to
be one of these guys. The octopus that inspired The Octopus, Dadu and Me was a common
octopus in my local aquarium, and so Ian — the octopus in the book — is a common octopus
too. And of course he is my favourite octopus of all.