Cephalopod Awareness Days October 8-12th: Arm Yourself
Greetings blogophiles! It’s October and that can only mean it’s almost time for International Cephalopod Awareness Days (ICAD), Woo Hoo! What? You weren’t aware of them? You should be. Though not an event sanctioned by any governing body, Cephalopod Awareness Days were established in 2007 by members of TONMO, The Octopus News Magazine Online forum. We here at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences have no events planned in conjunction with Cephalopod Awareness Days, but as a person who studies cephalopods, I feel it is my duty to make people aware of them. For the next week, I will be taking a break from my usual posts about my big Cretaceous squid project to write some general posts in celebration of ICAD.
Okay, so now you’re aware of ICAD, and you’re thinking hey, I like cephalopods, how do I celebrate? Are there guidelines? Why October 8th-12th? October 8th was chosen for appreciating those intelligent invertebrates with a combination of 8 or 10 appendages. Octopuses have eight arms while squid and cuttlefish have eight arms and two tentacles. So the powers that be chose the eighth day of the tenth month. Because cephalopods are so blasted interesting, four more days were added to the celebration.
Though one should always take time to be aware of all cephalopods, here are some very loose guidelines as to which cephalopod you should be aware of on which day:
- October 8 – Octopus Day, for all the eight-armed species
- October 9 – Nautilus Night, a time for all the lesser-known extant cephalopods
- October 10 – Squid Day/Cuttlefish Day covering the tentacular species
- October 11 – Myths and Legends Day, for all the fantastical cephalopods of movies, literature and legend. Release the Kraken!
- October 12 – Fossil Day for all the incredible suckers that have gone extinct
How can I celebrate? Take the time to learn more about cephalopods. Go to an aquarium and say to the octopus: “hey I’m aware of you”, watch an educational video, have some calamari, go fishing and use squid for bait, read “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, wear some ammonite jewelry, find a Kraken and release it. It doesn’t matter just educate and celebrate!