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Octopus ate my hand! たこは僕の手を食べた!

June 30, 2012

Admittedly, that sounds like a gossip rag headline.  In actuality, it only nibbled.  All digits still intact.  Still, it was a bit of a surprise since they typically just scamper away.


So, from less near the end of the story.  We were on a night dive at Lobster Bay.  Nice things, night dives.  First, nobody else is around so it’s a wonderful escape from the normal craziness of Hong Kong.  Second, critters, like the aforementioned octopus (proper plural being octopodes, not octopi – thanks Nik) and cuttlefish and tons of different crabs tend to appear at night.  We spied the red colour of the octopus inside an old tire and headed closer for a look.  The shots you see below are the ones I managed to take before it came rushing toward me and wrapped itself around my right hand and wrist.  At first I figured it would let go quickly.  After about a minute, it continued to tighten its grip and I could feel its beak nibbling at my knuckle.  Thankfully it didn’t decide to really take a chunk out.  At that point, I had to put my camera down and try to gently get it to let go.  Not the easiest of feats when you’re outnumbered eight to one.  I really wish I had passed the camera to my dive buddy so he could get a few shots of it on my hand.  Instead, I just put the camera down on the bottom.  I couldn’t even take a photo on my own because I need my right hand to operate the shutter trigger and, well, it was currently wrapped up in an octopus!


After about five minutes, it decided, with a bit of coaxing on my part, to give me back my hand.  It did continue to try chasing us off though.  We took the hint and left it alone.  We came to the conclusion later that we had actually stumbled upon its nest, which accounted for the atypically aggressive behaviour.  I was just thankful the thing wasn’t bigger!


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