Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dear Seattle Aquarium--Uh, maybe don't get a shark after all

So we went to the Seattle Aquarium this weekend, and it was great. It was. Hugo got to touch the starfish, and see big tanks of fish. Pretty darn exciting. Otters? Seals? All there. It's really impressive. I thought the octopus was pretty cool, its beady little eye staring straight into my soul and all. Hugo didn't care much because by the time we got to it he was OBSESSED with the plastic (plaster? steel?) shark sculpture hanging from the ceiling in the hall. No live animal of any sort could measure up to that thing. Except maybe a REAL SHARK. To be clear, on that day this plastic shark was the only shark around. There were a few babies in the big tank but he couldn't tell them from the other fish.

So I left there thinking that the Seattle Aquarium, to keep its toddler male constituency entertained, should tone down the EDUCATION and CONSERVATION messages and just get a shark already. And it's not like we don't have large predatory ocean dwellers in the Pacific Northwest, right? We have the orcas! They should get one of those! Local! (I realize there is a chance the aquarium staff thought of this, them being professionals and all. But the orca display was conspicuously lacking in, well, orcas. Think of the toddler males, people. They don't read the educational conservational stuff.)

But I digress. I have been crafting in my head the whole weekend a witty, oh such a witty post about how there are NO SHARKS at the *&%% aquarium and ha ha ha they should get a shark. An ANCHOR animal like Nordstrom at the mall (aren't I FUNNY?) . Or like the pandas at The National Zoo.

Meanwhile it's oozing into my head, quite possibly from my CONSCIENCE, that if I wrote all this out loud the world (and by the world I mean both of you, readers) will know that I am a bad person who wants to disrupt our ecosystem and turn the beautiful free animals into spectator sports all for the sake of her toddler. I might as well be moose-hunting (say) or elbowing any unfortunate souls in the ribs on my way to get to the Tickle Me Elmo display at Christmas time.

And that's right, I am sort of that person. Now you know. Except I'm not REALLY, because if I wrote all that it would be all tongue-in-cheek-like and a way to tell you how we are actually idiots because we paid to show Hugo the fish and he just wanted the plastic hanging shark and maybe it's a little too soon for the live fish and I could have $15 and five hours of my life back. And that's not even counting the $10 plastic TOY shark that we needed to buy for our budding genius, that he snuggles and calls "baby" (the big daddy shark was hanging from the ceiling, see). So by saying "they should get a shark" it was going to be all IRONIC and full of evidence why the aquarium should not listen to me at all.

But then I googled to find a photo of that darn hanging shark sculpture thing to put in the post and it turns out that the octopus at the aquarium ATE ALL THE SHARKS. Holy crap! No wonder it was by itself in its own tank this weekend. I knew those beady eyes were up to something. (And seriously, if those octupuses ever figure out how to live past their own reproductive cycles we better watch out.)

Here is the octopus eating the shark (sentences I never thought I would write)--

18 comments:

The Guider said...

Hi - you visited me, so I visited you. That is one mean octopus!

Kristen M. said...

Hmm ... I think, this video is at least almost 3 years old. I wonder when this actually happened. Up until about 5 years ago when I got pregnant and couldn't climb ladders or bend over anymore, I fed the sharks once a week. I don't know why they wouldn't have new sharks by now in the coral reef tank. They haven't had big sharks for a long time though. When they get to a certain size, they send them to Point Defiance Zoo. You should take Hugo there. We'll go with you!

Maggie, Dammit said...

OK, I had NO IDEA about Octopuses. (Octopi?) I just read that Wikepedia thing and I am stunned. Six-month life spans? Three hearts? Death upon reproduction? WHAT??

And then I watched the first two minutes of that video and I'm practically sobbing over the shark.

Good grief. ;)

J & J Acres said...

I just learned more about sharks than I probably ever knew.

We went to Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach and picked up horseshoe crabs. I'm sure they get pretty pissed off getting picked up every couple of minutes, but it was neat nonetheless!

wheelsonthebus said...

That was not an image I need in my head all day!

smalltownmom said...

Wow, that was something.

Susanna said...

So, could one say that the Seattle Aquarium has jumped the shark? (No disrespect intended-- y'all are doing a super job down there!)

Also, Hugo? CUTE! But you knew that.

Mama Goose said...

Too funny.

Is Hungry Hungry Octopus Eric Carle's next book?

Lisa Milton said...

Who knew Octopuses were such bad asses.

(I'll have to pass that video on to my science loving husband...)

Irene said...

You know, that was very sad and painful to watch and I don't even like sharks, but now I like octopuses even less. I know nature is like that, but it is too far removed from me and I can't really fathom it. I suppose I would have to be a stone age hunter to get the idea better. Now I am a vegetarian.

JCK said...

Very creepy. I can't even look. I'm creeped out by your descriptions..

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

What you need is some Sea World!

ellen said...

Eeww! That was a grisly sight.
We just went to the Oregon Coast Aquarium for our granddaughter's fourth birthday...the octopus there lives all by her lonesome..good decision.
The first time we took our son to the zoo, I was so excited. I just knew that he was going to LOVE the elephants, giraffes and all. He ignored every animal but the chickens who were wandering around. Major disappointment for me, but a funny story we still repeat.

Vanessa said...

I love the Seattle Aquarium! I have so many pictures of the otters and octopus. How in the world did I miss this shark?

Mac and Cheese said...

I am so not going to push play on that video.

Janet said...

wow, and I used to feel bad for eating octopus...not any more!

Childlife said...

LOL! Hugo, you're adorable :D Love his new 'Baby' ;)

So weird about the octopus eating all the sharks -- I had no idea they did that or even could!

nicolien said...

Wow!

So how about this: someone stays up all night to see what happened to the vanishing sharks, and sees the octopus eating one. So what do they do? They throw in an extra one for him to eat it and film it!! Now that should make you feel better about asking to upset the ecosystem just to have a shark around for the toddlers :)