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The Soul of an Octopus - Curiosity Leads to Discovery

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Joshua Knoll

Literature of the Sea

Professor Lane

April 16, 2019

Curiosity Leads to Discovery

        Have you ever truly been passionate for something? It could be a sport, it could be a type of music, or it could be an animal. The passion and love that Sy Montgomery shows towards octopuses is something great within itself. She loved these octopuses so much at the Boston Aquarium, that she made a living out of it. These Octopuses are truly incredible and Montgomery is great at telling us their assets. Montgomery wanted to know everything about these octopuses, and it almost seems as if she brought in guest as her own test subject. Throughout the novel the author brings in many guest and there curiosity of the sea is what brings out the personality of an octopus.

        In chapter two of the Soul of an Octopus, Montgomery brings in Liz to visit the aquarium and to see Octavia. What was unique about Liz is that she smoked a pack of cigarettes a day. Female octopuses have 2, 240 suckers in their eight arms and just about a hundred less in male octopuses (Gannon 1). With in each sucker an octopus obtains ten thousand chemoreceptors (Montgomery 34). When Liz and Octavia made contact there was a sudden jump back in both of them. With how powerful Octavia’s senses are she probably tasted the nicotine right off Liz’s skin or blood. “Both of them instantly withdrew in alarm” (Montgomery 34). Montgomery brought in someone who is quite different. Nicotine is seen as a replant to insects and some animals. Montgomery’s and Liz’s curiosity of the sea is what led to a great observation of an octopuses strong senses.

        In chapter three the author brings another guest with her to go see the aquarium. The guest is Danny and he is unique because not only is he an excited young boy, he has pervasive development disorder. This disorder is a broad diagnostic category for significant, sometimes disabling delay in acquiring delay in acquiring basic skills (Montgomery 78). Danny loves octopus, they are his favorite thing in the world. When he first meets Kali he is overwhelmed with excitement. He is so excited to see an octopus that he is actually nervous. “ Were all petting her and urging Danny to do the same. But he’s frightened. He pokes a single sucker with one finger and withdraws, shaking” (Montgomery 87). Kali reacts to this by lightening up the mood for Danny. She sprays him with water and is being playful with Danny. It is crazy that Kali could sense his nervousness and understand to be playful to make Danny feel more comfortable. “His nervousness is decreasing and she is more willing to interact, says Wilson. She has much more awareness of us than we do of her” ( Montgomery 88). Danny eventually calmed down and was loving every minute of his time at the aquarium. Montgomery uses Danny to see how Kali would act. Danny’s love for octopuses and curiosity of the sea definitely showed Montgomery a trait of an Octopus and how they react to children.



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