A friend recently explained to me that octopi are intelligent – very, very intelligent. I decided to look into this bizarre claim. Read on and be flabbergasted –


Deep Intellect

Inside the mind of the octopus



Published in the November/December 2011 issue of Orion magazine


Photograph: Brandon Cole

Photograph: Brandon Cole


“ON AN UNSEASONABLY WARM day in the middle of March, I traveled from New Hampshire to the moist, dim sanctuary of the New England Aquarium, hoping to touch an alternate reality. I came to meet Athena, the aquarium’s forty-pound, five-foot-long, two-and-a-half-year-old giant Pacific octopus.



For me, it was a momentous occasion. I have always loved octopuses. No sci-fi alien is so startlingly strange. Here is someone who, even if she grows to one hundred pounds and stretches more than eight feet long, could still squeeze her boneless body through an opening the size of an orange…”


The rest, here.