There are a number of myths about octopus which sure could scare ocean lovers about driving and diving in deep waters. One myth is that there is a big octopus that exists and hides in the deepest ocean water which could swallow up a whole ship! Of course, that is just a myth. If it’s true, there has been no evidence of its existence yet. What is octopus? And what is the biggest octopus in the world?
The octopus belongs to the Phylum Mollusca, class Cephalospoda, superorder Octopodiformes, and order Octopoda. It is a cephalopod mollusk that has two eyes and eight arms (four pairs). They do not have internal or external skeleton which allows them to squeeze through small and tight places. They also have a hard beak and their mouth is located at the center of their arms.
Octopus lives in different ocean regions (not limited to pelagic waters, coral reefs and oceanic floor). They are considered as the most intelligent and flexible among animals that do not have skeleton (invertebrates). Some of their defenses against predators are as follows: ink expulsion, camouflage, and swim fast off their enemies (thanks to their 4 pairs of arms). Among the 300 species of octopus, only one group is known to be poisonous to humans and that is the blue-ringed octopuses.
The biggest known octopus in the world is the North Pacific Giant Octopus which belongs to the genus Enteroctopus. It can be seen in the North Pacific coast at the depth of 65 meters. It weights 71 kilograms and has an arm span of 14ft. it has a spherical mantle that houses the major organs of the animal. It has the capability adapt and blend its color with the environments (big thanks to its chromatophores in its tissues).
The North Pacific Giant Octopus diest maily consist of crabs, shrimp, abalone, fish, clams, and scallops. Their predators are Sea Otters, Sperm whales and Harbor seals. Though this type of octopus is considers as the largest, it is also considered as the most short-lived animal having only an average lifespan of 4 years. To make up for its short life, the North Pacific Giant Octopus can lay 100,000 eggs as single pregnancy. Though it seems be a huge number of eggs, only a few survive up to adulthood.
Even though the octopus is hard to catch, humans are still wise enough to catch one and serve it as a special dish. Most Asian cuisine include octopus in the list of ingredients. Some dishes serve octopus as a whole while some chop it into pieces. The most natural way to serve octopus as a dish is to serve it fresh and moving.