The Cultured Octopus

Our fascination for the eight-tentacled wonder called the octopus never ceases. Here is a brief list of cultural and commercial references to the marvelous cephalapod, proving you don’t have to be an island nation like Japan to be fascinated by tentacled creatures.

High-End Brand: Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton Tentacles store window
In 2012, Louis Vuitton collaborated with pop artist Yayoi Kusama, who is magnificently dot-obsessed, to creates storefronts and interiors that were aburst with abstract tentacles.

Comic Book: Doc Ock

Doctor Octopus
4 extra appendages + 2 arms + 2 legs = Doctor Octopus, or Doc Ock, the popular villain in Spiderman, who puts his extra appendages to good, or rather, bad use. His super biomechanical abilities inspire: check out one artist Denis Medri’s Steampunk Illustrations of Doc Ock and plenty more on Pinterest Boards featuring Doctor Octopus.

Blockbuster Badass: Davy Jones

Davy Jones Pirates of the Caribbean

Speaking of villains, here’s one octopodal badass, the character Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean, based on H.P. Lovecraft’s original vision of a octopus-monster creature in his story “Call of the Cthulhu.” While Bill Nighy played the role, his appearance was entirely the feat of 3-D computer generated whiz-bang, earning the movie an Academy Award for Visual Effects.

Cartoon Cute: Pearl

Pearl Octopus Nemo

At first blush, the cuteness of the little octopus in Finding Nemo seems to have been exagerrated by the animators. But in fact, Pearl is modelled after the flapjack octopus, also called the O. californiana. In these amazing photos and video, it seems that yes, Disney took some liberties with the color, but not with the adorability of this floating blankie of a cephalopod.

Real & Famous: Paul

Paul the Octapus

One real-life famous octopus was Paul the Octopus, who lived his brief life in a marine center in Germany and became famous as an oracle of sorts, predicting the winners of the World Cup more often than not. How did they even know he was a soccer fan? What marine biologist or octopus-feeder first thought of asking Paul? Paul’s Wikipedia page doesn’t say, although a coda at the bottom alludes to more intriguing stories: the porcupine that was an oracular failure.

Can you think of other cute, villanous or exceptional octopus characters or imagery?

Vuitton image “Lair of the Footless Fashion Victims” by Indigo_Girl via CC-BY-2.0.

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