Wherefore Steampunk?

Ask an octopus what makes him so steampunk and he’ll probably just wave you away with one of his eight arms. Or make like Inky the Octopus and escape.

Long before comic books, anime, video games and Disney movies, there was Victorian science fiction. Jules Verne and HP Lovecraft both plumbed the mysteries of the deep in their tales and chose tentacled creatures to terrify and chill. Lovecraft’s ‘The Call of Cthulhu‘ was published in 1928 in Weird Tales featuring Cthulhu, a mythic creature with an octopoid head.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: the octopus and Captain Nemo
Through a porthole, gladly: Captain Nemo considers the octopus (8 arms, so not a squid) in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea  features a tentacled creature, perhaps a squid, perhaps an octopus (the original French apparently uses the word for octopus).

And now there’s the steampunk universe, which revels in old-fashion Victorian style and retro future tech: goggles and ray guns, bustles and time machines. And, thanks to Verne and Lovecraft, tentacles. While we expand our knowledge of outer space, much of ocean life is still a mystery. The idea of a creature lurking in the depths is still a real possibility, isn’t it?

So yes, the ArtAkimbo tentacle fits in nicely if you’re outfitting a room or your home with steampunk decor.

But don’t take my word for it: you can follow three years or more of discussion on Why the Octopus is Steampunk here.

To see how Steampunk itself is spreading its tentacles, check out this quintessential steampunk band, a charming children’s book about a young girl and her pet Octopus, and my Pinterest board on Steampunk Decor.

 

 

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