Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author of "Cool Creatures, Hot Planet" and "Endangered Edens."

An octopus has me by the ankles!

Marty’s photo of the day #2075: I had to contort to take this photo, as I have an octopus wrapped around my ankles. I’m balancing on my butt, on the floor of the Sea of Cortez, like a V. In other words, both my head and legs are as close together as I can get them. Then with one hand, I’m gently stroking the octopus; with the other, I’m holding my underwater camera.

If you look closely, you will be able to see one of the octopus’s eyes, and right next to that is its siphon. What is the purpose of the siphon? It’s an organ that octopuses use for jet propulsion. Fill a balloon with air and let it go. An octopus does the same thing, by shooting water through its siphon. Octopuses have also been known to use their siphon as a squirt gun to shoot people in the face!

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