Sexy Beast

The Mysteries of the Giant Pacific Octopus

Comments

1
Great article...My favorite way to prepare octopus is the boil/grill method followed up with a quick coating of chili oil, served over a fresh red onion potato salad.
2
Yeah , I think it 's a great article too. I think these creatures are fascinating. I took my daughter to the Aquarium,and the octopus was by far the highlight of the whole deal. Actually, the pier was her favorite, but she's a really weird little kid.
3
Was this article accepted by The Stranger as a bet? I can imagine it: "Kiley you mad fool, no one wants to read your 6,000-word essay on octopusses--but I'll tell you what: you pull 10 comments online and this skeptical editor will let you at the imported sake I use to ply interns.

"But fail, Kiley, and I'll have your nuts for nigiri. Nigiri!"

I wouldn't want to be Brendan Kiley's nuts, but this *was* a terrific read. Thanks for it. And hooray for octopusses!
4
I may have octopuses in my nightmares tonight.
5
har har, human writer man

very funny

just yank me out from the briny deeps like that and lay me tits-up shoreside so you and all your prissy land lubber friends can get a few cheap XXX jollies talkn smack about my privates????

OK, fine... so keep croaking out whatever air-breathing smut your two boney limp-wristed arm-flaps can handle, we don't care...

If any of you monkeys out there ever knew just how goddamn good it feels raising the old flag pole with eight arms full of moist, rigid-soft suction cups, I think you'd probably be doing a lot less scribbling and spending quite a bit more time down here taking some nice briny baths with us in ye old sea tank

And you think are heads are too big???

har har, human writer man

har har

6
youve made this octopus admirers day
7
Does anyone think it's even mildly disconcerting that Brendan just spend an entire article talking about how amazing, complex, and important octopuses are, and followed it up by describing how we can manipulate and commodify them for our own pleasure?

Don't their repeated aquarium escape attempts signal to anyone that these incredible creatures don't belong in cages?

They mate *once in their lives* and we find it appropriate to kidnap and exploit them as though we have the right to?

Fucking deplorable.
8
that was great! thanks!
9
Oh, and before anyone asks, I'm not a member on NARN. Just an ordinary animal lover.
10
Oh, and before anyone asks, I'm not a member of NARN. Just an ordinary animal lover.
11
My favorite read today - saucy, informative and fun - Thanks!
12
Most pleasurable.
13
Rad illustration.
14
Fucking fantastic Science Writing. You don't see this sort of thing anymore.

Reading this really made my day.

If The Stranger had more Science and less Viaduct Drama, it'd be glorious.
15
Mr. Kiley, you are consistently the most entertaining and most moving of the feature writers for this paper. Particularly when you have some whack-job idea for an article and manage to get it approved, as I pretend/hope you did with this one.
16
Man, that shit is dope
17
wonderful piece.
18
It's definitely weird for a scientific article about how intelligent and mysterious octopodes are to conclude with a segment about the best way to eat them. And I'm not even a vegetarian.
19
But otherwise this was a really amazing piece. :)
20
Science? I agree there are scientific facts and even scientists in this article, but a lot of it is cultural study, talking about how octopuses have historically been perceived and interpreted.
21
I agree with the comments above regarding the awe of and then consumption of these creatures. This article, though well written, was too short and jumbled to enjoy.

I was excited for an article about how octopuses are an under appreciated creature (they're amazing, intelligent creatures ... dumb animals do not tear up cages out of boredum/the need to escape and figure out ways to gain more bounty)that exist right here in the Northwest. There is enough literature on how awesome the octopus is to create a magical, intriguing article (really).

At the end I found myself wondering: What was the point? "Hey guys, octopuses! They exist! We got an aquarium with a Caster Semenya named Buster and our very own outcast scientist!The Japanese like to sub in their tentacles for penis' because of censorship (which is, funnily enough highly offensive in America)! They might kill you one day, maybe! But the best part is you can eat the fuck outta 'em and that's how you learn to really appreciate their power!"

The article didn't go anywhere, much like this comment.

I think it was an episode of 'Weird Eats' or something where the host, after seeing a writhing octopus making a very honest and intelligent effort at escaping from the ship's deck vowed to never eat one of those beautiful creatures again.

Fuck, they're the coolest.
22
Refreshing read! in addition to making me think and envision all you wrote it made me think of the James Bond movie named after the octopus.

Fresh! deep fried in peanut oil with a tempura batter! cook fast so it don't turn into rubber.

Octoyummy!
23
For the best octo fight in literature, I refer readers to 'The Toilers of the Sea', from 1866, by that famous author and octopus wrestler, Victor Hugo. In the chapter 'The Monster' he writes: 'You are attacked by a pneumatic machine. You are dealing with a vacuum that has feet.'

Included are detailed instructions on how to gut an octopus.
24
ending an interesting article with a long list of ways to cook and eat the subject of said article is pretty lazy in my opinion. Honestly it kind of ruined an interesting read.
25
For everyone who liked the article: Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed.

For those who dislike the ending section, sorry. The primary relationship most people have with octopuses is on their plates and in their mouths. That seemed as good a place as any to end up.
26
This was a great read.
27
Although I loved your description of octopus copulation, I have to add that you recognize the ligula of an octopus by looking for the arm without suction cups, so no taste buds on the penis. Also, he inserts the sperm packet into her siphon, not her mouth, which is the water-out after respiration, the end of the digestive system, and where eggs are laid. So I can't agree with concurrent intercourse and cunnilingus, but it's kinky in its incomparable way.

Also, the frequent use of "tentacle" makes me slightly squirmy. Many other Cephalopods have arms and tentacles with different functions. The octopus's are technically arms by function. So it's fine to say tentacle as long as you know this, but if you're ever doing a squid dissection later it might be confusing.
28
I wish I had a dick arm :-/
29
I love to see the octopus when I scuba dive. There are resident Giant Pacific Octopus at Sehurst Park about 200' from where the Elliott Bay Water Taxi docks. This afternoon I'll be visiting some octopus dens just South of the Tacoma Narrows at Day Island.

Good video of a GPO at a Hood Canal location http://www.vimeo.com/2962482 (first 43 sec. are lead in).
30
Oh god, not only do we have 600# octopuses in our waters, we also have 16' sharks?!

Fuck you, Puget Sound.
31
Fact check: google search for tentacle rape = 220,000. Tentacle porn = 266,000. Fuck you, non-consensual sex with a bizarre appendage.

God I'm an asshole.
32
Iffy "scientific facts" aside, this article contains a great deal of misinformation. Washington State harvest regulations for octopuses appear to be misrepresented, for one thing. For another, I do not believe the Seattle Aquarium sells octopuses for profit, an action likely contrary to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Code of Professional Ethics. I also do not think they would harvest using chemical irritants as implicated in this article, since such a method is illegal in Washington State. Mr. Kiley should do his research more carefully before publishing such potentially libelous statements.
33
@ 32. Prove it. I have the WA State Fisheries Guide on my side for point #1 (you can pick up a copy in any bait shop in the city) and quotes from longtime Seattle Aquarium employees on my side for point #2.

I take my research *very* seriously and I've got no patience for casual, anonymous aspersions. You're wrong and if you doubt me, I'll be happy to show you my evidence. 323-7101.
34
Yes the ending of this article is unfortunate. As is a fair bit of the rest, which always seems to wander back to Japan and...more about eating octopus or other creatures. The focus of cooking and eating the "sexy beast" for me just continues to reinforce the stereotype that the Stranger just can't mention animals without digressing into how to kill it (Brendan Kiley, "Urban Hunt"), cook it (current article), eat it (how bout foie gras BJC?) or fuck/kill it (Mudede and his horses).
At least Savage just complains about dogs being in bars. That's harmless.

Titling the article "Sexy Beast" was just dangling the carrot in front of the type of person who just wants to read an article about how cool some animals are (as living, breathing, free-ranging animals). Then you jerk the carrot away and leave us disappointed.
35
great story.
36
whatever else this was - it was also a very interesting and entertaining read - thank you!
37
Agree, that pornography is outlawed in Japan, but having lived in Japan for four years and attending their Fertility Festival, they don't need it.
38
I do personally disapprove of the eating of creatures (especially such fascinating, intelligent ones as cephalopods), but I enjoyed the article nonetheless. Maybe Mr. Kiley will come speak at the next Cephalopod Appreciation Society meeting?
39
For everyone who points out the ending is "unfortunate" and sees this as Kiley's fault, I think Brendan's point about it being apt because it's *common* is crucial.

By writing it this way, he's basically highlighted to some, if not many, people that eating an octopus is weird and twisted. The fact he goes into so much detail, I felt, was a pretty loud argument *against* octopus consumption because it makes the reader so squirmy. Ignoring or minimizing the fact they're eaten would have been disrespectful.

@21: I thought it was a really good way to summarize several interesting things to hook people. I'm much more interested in reading *more* about these creatures now, but I might not have paid attention if this article was 32,000 pages of exhaustive detail.
40
this was awesome and made me want to go to the aquarium. interesting article even if it wandered a bit.
41
DON'T EAT THE OCTOPUS. EVERYTHING THAT LIVES WANTS THEIR LIFE.
OF ALL THE WONDER, MYSTERY AND MAGIC OF THIS CREATURE THAT
THIS CREATURE EXCITES IN OUR MINDS AND IMAGINATION TELL ME WHY
IT IS THAT THE ONLY TRIBUTE WE HONOR THAT WITH IS NOT ONE OF
ALLOWING THAT WHICH GIVES US WONDER TO CONTINUE TO GIVE WONDER .AND LIVE ON IN THE WORLD, BUT TO TERMINATE IT ? A SPECIES SO ALIEN TO THE CONCEPT OF ALL LIFE AS SACRED , THAT ALL
THAT LIVES WANTS THEIR LIVES JUST AS YOU WANT YOUR OWN. WE ARE
AN ALIEN SPECIES NOT COMMEASURATE WITH THE BEAUTY OF THIS WORLD, NOT WORTHY OF IT. BLOOD LUST. FOOD. WAR. WE EVEN
CONSUME OUR OWN.

42
Octopodes are very interesting creatures. They are really fasinating and strange. This article was also really interesting. Yay!
43
Very nice article!
44
Octopi/odes in love...http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=h7aPzZsuBjo
45
Octopi in love... sorry to be late to the party.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=h7aPzZsuBjo
46
I love octopods/octopi/octopuses! Thanks, Stranger, for publishing a truly awesome article. I thought I knew a lot about these critters, but I actually learned something new. BTW, if you are not into cephalopods, you don't have to read the article...DUH.