The Life of an Octopus in 2020
by Amber McClintock
The ocean was brimming with millions of brightly coloured fish swimming around the reef. Just there, but barely noticed, was a tiny newborn octopus floating about, scared and confused.
Crimson was afraid. She had just emerged from her tiny grape-shaped egg and was fighting against the flow of her siblings as they all battled to be free. The ocean was huge. She was only the size of a grain of rice. As shoals of fish raced past her, she hid in little crevices in the rocks. She watched from the hole as many of her brothers and sisters were swept away by the current of fish, never to be seen again. Fear rose up in her as she cautiously darted out into the open. She saw her brother swimming towards her. He was shouting her name but another group of fish raced past. The last thing she heard was a tiny scream and her brother was gone. She turned around, heading into the dangerous life of an octopus, the survival in 2020…
Crimson darted from rock to rock, using her long arms to pull her through masses of seaweed. Today she was escaping a sperm whale, one of her main predators. She twisted and turned in desperation to escape the whale. Eventually she lost the whale for long enough to change colour and blend in with the surrounding rocks and coral, fooling the whale into racing past her into the distance.
Crimson had grown. She was a giant pacific octopus the biggest octopus in the ocean. She grabbed a small shrimp as it wandered around, pouncing on it and using her sharp beak that was underneath her body. She enjoyed her little snack to energise her after the ordeal with the hungry sperm whale. Thinking she had gotten rid of any danger for the next while, she swam out of the rock, to see an object floating around. Crimson went to investigate. It was a thin, but strong material with four holes in it. She decided that it would be fun to play with. She wrapped her arms into the holes, delighted with her new toy. But it was then that she realised that she was stuck. She struggled and pulled but it was no use. Ink began to seep out of her as she wrestled for freedom. She was tangled up into the object. Trapped. It wasn’t long before the current came and swept her away. She blacked out, oblivious of what was to happen to her.
When she woke she was washed up on a beach, drying up under the sun. She was still stuck. She also knew that if she didn’t get back into the water soon she would die. ‘Look! And we didn’t even have to get into the boat! An octopus washed up on the beach, let’s pull it’s tentacles and see if it will spurt out ink!!” A teenage boy shouts from across the beach. He and his friend run over and begin to grab at Crimson, pulling her tentacles this way and that, which was hurting Crimson. Thankfully it was just then that a young girl toddled over to the boys and Crimson. Crimson looked up hopefully. ‘Mummy! It an octopus!’ she cried. The boys dropped Crimson, who was still tangled up, and turned towards the little girl. A lady walked over and gasped when she saw the state Crimson was in. She looked up at the boys who had been torturing Crimson. ‘Did you do this? The poor thing. What made you think to do this? You’ve hurt her. Yes she’s all tangled up but you’re lucky she didn’t give you a nasty bite. I should report this!’ she shouts at them. They mutter something, turn and sprint off into the distance. A man comes over to the woman and sighs. Crimson heard them mutter something about plastic, a can holder, horrid, pollution. They turned back to her and bent down to untangle Crimson. She was frightened and tried to flee, but the woman’s hands were gentle and kind. As soon as she was free, she propelled herself back into her beloved ocean home, into the sea and beyond to once again survive 2020.
Plastic pollution is becoming more and more dangerous everyday. It’s estimated that in 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Octopus in particular are very intelligent and curious
animals, which explains why Crimson was interested in the plastic used to secure multipacks of beverages, causing her to get injured and stuck.
Please help to save our oceans, we need you now more than ever!