Remember that old Beatles song, one of the few Ringo got to sing – “I’d like to be … under the sea … in an Octopus’s garden in the shade”?
Well, this morning I was reading the Discovery News and saw this little article about the Abdopus aculeatus octopus.
We would be warm below the storm,
in our little hideaway beneath the waves
resting our head on the seabed
in an octopus garden near a cave*
Well, Ringo, apparently an Octopus’s Garden is a “kinky and violent society of jealous murders, gender subterfuge and once-in-a-lifetime sex.”
Whoa! Kinky and violent? once-in-a-lifetime sex?
According to the article, octopuses (Or should that be octopi?) are a violent society where the male chooses the largest female as she’ll provide the most eggs, and he’ll kill by strangulation any other male that attempts to encroach upon his little garden.
So I don’t think Mr. Starkey should be inviting his friends down to the Octopus’s Garden any time soon. Unless he plans to off ’em of course.
We would sing and dance around
because we know we can’t be found*
I don’t know if Octopi can sing or dance, but apparently some of the sneakier males will swim girlishly along the bottom of the sea in order to hide the stripes that identify them as males. (um, do girl octopi swish a bit more perhaps? I don’t think they have hips they can swing.)
We would shout, and swim about,
the coral the lies beneath the waves
Oh what joy for every girl and boy
knowing they’re happy and they’re safe
We would be so happy, you and me
No one there to tell us what to do*
And once the male attracts the female, and guards her, which is about a month, the babies are born. Shortly after, both parents DIE – which means that sex they had to conceive their babies really was once-in-a-lifetime. Which means the kids grow up without anyone there to tell them what to do. Sort of sad, eh?
I’d like to be under the sea in an octopus’ garden with you*
So next time I hear that song, I think I’ll tell Richard, aka Ringo, that I’ll pass on his invitation.
*Lyrics credited to Richard Starkey aka Ringo Star, 1969, Octopus’s Garden from the Abbey Road album