Sy Montgomery's popular 2011 Orion magazine piece, "Deep Intellect"; about her friendship with a sensitive, sweet-natured octopus named Athena and the grief she felt at her death, went viral, indicating the widespread fascination with these mysterious, almost alien-like creatures. Since then Sy has practiced true immersion journalism, from New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, pursuing these wild, solitary shape-shifters. Octopuses have varied personalities and intelligence they show in myriad ways: endless trickery to escape enclosures and get food; jetting water playfully to bounce objects like balls; and evading caretakers by using a scoop net as a trampoline and running around the floor on eight arms. But with a beak like a parrot, venom like a snake, and a tongue covered with teeth, how can such a being know anything? And what sort of thoughts could it think?
Don't believe a word of it. Any thoughts they have are evil. The wish not to meld with us and truly communicate as species. They only wish our deaths. They are as alien to this planet as we would be on the moon. They don't belong here. They came from someplace else. Someplace distant that is playing the LONG game with us. Don't trust one and certainly don't become so friendly with it that you actually give it a name. Once you do that you are already dead. Strike first, strike fast and show no mercy because certainly none will be returned to you. They are abominations that also happen to be quit tasty. I enjoy the texture of the tentacles when they have been steamed right and have a nice sauce to accompany. Head my words. Lest ye die.