Sy Montgomery visited the New England Aquarium to meet Athena, the aquarium’s forty-pound, five-foot-long, two-and-a-half-year-old giant Pacific octopus. Her story knocked our socks off.

Credit: Joe Parks / Flickr

LISTEN: 3 Hearts And 'Soul Of An Octopus'

May 28, 2015


Heads up, if you, or someone you love likes to eat Octopus, those days might just be over. For that, you can thank naturalist and BPR favorite, Sy Montgomery. Sy's latest book, The Soul of an Octopus, brings the odd, eight armed shape-shifter to life and light. She examines the Octopus’s intelligence, emotional depth, and personality all through her own profound friendship with one named Athena.

Athena, an octopus toddler living in the New England Aquarium, locked eyes with the New Hampshire native, and without hesitation, Sy plunged her hand into an ice cold marine tank to allow the curious cephalopod to taste her skin. Octopuses, it turns out, taste with their suckers, and as Athena carefully explored Montgomery’s outstretched arms with her own, the writer felt they were both seeking, and connecting, alien skin to alien skin. Or, as we discovered, brain to brain.

 Montgomery became a fixture at the New England Aquarium, getting close with the volunteers and staff, but most of all getting to know a roster of octopuses, finding the three hearts, and soul in each of them.

>>To hear more of Sy's story, click on the audio link above.



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