Touched an octopus, but...


Staff member
Site Owner
May 30, 2000
Well, I always wanted to post in this thread, and now I can! Although not under the best scenarios...

I went to Montego Bay, Jamaica and did some snorkeling, as ever, looking for cephs... Nothing crazy, just some offshore snorkeling, which was great, but no cephs... until I spotted a local snorkel guide and fisherman - we chatted; he wanted to know if I wanted to go out, and I explained we had to get ready for dinner soon with the family... then we were pretty much booked with other activities for the rest of the trip, but I asked, could he show me any octopuses?

Sure mon! There was another guy with him nearby, and we swam over... and there was an octopus on his string of caught fish underwater. Not sure what species, it was about 1-2 feet in span, but it wasn't in good shape because it was being hauled in. Still, I got to touch it -- and while it appeared deceased, its suckers responded pretty vibrantly after a second or two of touching them. Anyway, not how I wanted to interact with a ceph, but it was a growing experience nonetheless. I did urge him and his crew to treat all octopuses well - be good to them! So there was that :smile: :octopus:

One of the activities we did was a quick excursion out to the Luminous Lagoon in Falmouth to swim with the dinoflagellates.... the ocean was filled with bioluminescence. My swim clothes were lit up for quite a while after going back on board as well... I believe even on the bus ride back. Very cool experience!

What I would prefer, and will keep trying to achieve, is to see a healthy octopus in his/her home... and I'm generally of the mindset that they should be seen, not touched... although I'm all for letting the experts do their expert things...

We are hoping to go to the Blue Heron Bridge within the year to snorkel and look for O. vulgaris and Macrotritopus defilippi this year but that is a look, don't touch adventure. I still have being touched by a GPO and seeing a live O. cyanea and vampyroteuthis on my bucket list

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