When the Seattle Aquarium gets ready to move an octopus from its resident tank to the waters of the Puget Sound, it’s kind of a big deal.
“A release takes about 20 people to pull off,” senior aquarist Kathryn Kegel said in a blog post. That includes five divers and a bunch of support staff.
Everyone does a tech rehearsal beforehand to check the equipment, then a “wet” rehearsal to go through the motions in the water.
After the octopus is actually released, diverse follow it for about 20 minutes to make sure it’s OK.
After that? “We just don’t know,” said Kegel.
“They most likely move to an area with good food and a den space. After mating, females find a good den space to lay their eggs, and guard them until they hatch—shortly after the hatch, the females die. Males continue to move around, looking for another female to mate with, then die.”
Such is the octopus life cycle.
Want to see one of this year’s octopus releases as it happens? Visit the aquarium on Saturday at noon. Here’s more on Seattle Aquarium’s Octopus Week.