Love The Giant Pacific Octopus
Northern Pacific Ocean
This 1-year-old lady is a real giant, the biggest of her kind. She glides around her Pacific home with such grace and beauty, blending in with her coral surroundings and feasting on all sorts of clams, fish, and even other octopuses! But she feels the temperatures around her rising which makes it hard to breathe. She hopes it doesn’t get too much warmer or she doesn’t know how she will survive.
These giants roam the Pacific ocean, perhaps the largest species of cephalopod in the world. They can weigh 110 pounds and measure 16 feet across. And like all octopuses, they are very intelligent. It’s not surprising considering they have 9 brains! Not only that, they have 8 arms and 3 hearts. Each brain looks after something different, one for each individual leg and one for the nervous system. are coloured a reddish-pink which helps them to blend in with their rocky or coral surroundings. These masters of disguise can change the colour and texture of their skin in one-tenth of a second! Another fantastic tactic is their use of toxic black ink that they squirt out at any predators, giving them the chance for a quick getaway.
The giant Pacific octopus, while the longest living of all octopuses, only lives an average of 2-3 years and tends to die shortly after breeding. After mating, the female will head off to find a nice den or cave where she will lay up to 74,000 eggs. She will stay with them for seven months, never leaving them during this entire time, even to find food. While she waits she continuously blows water over her eggs and removes any algae or growths. Shortly after her young hatch, she will die as she would have starved to death, or perhaps even self-cannibalised. When the babies hatch out they are tiny, about the size of a grain of rice. Being so small and vulnerable, very few survive. Those that do grow very quickly.
It is not known how many giant Pacific octopuses are swimming about our oceans as they are very difficult to track and estimate numbers. Regardless of whether there are few or many, there are many threats to their survival. Because they have blue blood that is not very good at transporting oxygen around their body they can only live in cooler, oxygen-rich waters. With rising sea temperatures, they are forced into deeper and cooler waters and their habitats are destroyed, creating dead zones. These rising temperatures also speed up the development of the octopus eggs, interrupting the critical timing of food availability. Ocean acidification is also a huge issue, brought on by the increased levels of CO₂ due to our use of fossil fuels, deforestation, and industrialisation. A small change in the pH of the water can lead to death for these creatures.
HOW TO HELP
Based off real animals that Gillie and Marc met while travelling, the public will be able to meet individual animals.
With public art, more people will come into contact with these sculptures, will stop and consider them, will take a photograph, and will discuss this with their friends and family. Through this increased exposure, the message of love, family, and conservation will be spread much further than any piece of art in a gallery ever could. It will bring people into close contact and will help them to fall in love. With love comes a greater urge to want to create a change and save all endangered animals.
The sculpture will be aligned with the hashtags #LoveTheLast to raise unparalleled awareness about the sculpture’s cause across the globe.
To help protect these animals, please donate to the WWF: https://www.wwf.sg/SOURCES