The above is the cover of The Strange Adventures of Captain Quinton: Being a Truthful Record of the Experiences and Escapes of Robert Quinton During His Life Among the Cannibals of the South Seas, as Set Down by Himself (1912).
Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus Pathtag, sent to me by Shop99er and TTUMS. What's a Pathtag? you ask...
Pathtags are personal trading items. Used most often in Geocaching, they are also very handy for Scouting, Military and Promotional use. ... Pathtags are not typically traveling items such as Geocoins or Travel Bugs. They are generally used as personal "signature items" for Geocaching or other trade item. If found, simply log it and the tag's profile will display for you to view. Unless the profile says otherwise, you are welcome to add it into your permanent collection.
You can find more info on the Pathtags site. They're about the size of a US quarter and the reverse has a unique ID number that you can enter into the site to log it and tell the maker where or how you found it.
The Tree Octopus ones are not for sale. If you want one, you'll either have to find it in a Geocache or trade with someone who has one (like Shop99er and TTUMS on the Pathtags site, who had them made with my permission).
Happy New Year again! Here's a giant octopus trying to crush an electric elephant:
It's from The Wonderful Electric Elephant (1903) by Frances T. Montgomery, a children's book about a young man named Harold who encounters and shoots an elephant on a trail at the Grand Canyon, only to discover it's actually an electric-powered mecha-elephant piloted by a mysterious old man who soon dies after spilling his immortality elixir. Harold finds the man's will inside, which states that he now owns the elephant, as well as the gold and other curios and treasures the man had collected. Reading the instruction manual, he learns the elephant is watertight, so decides to cross the Pacific seafloor to Japan. On the way, he frees silky-locked Ione from Native Americans and she becomes his companion, and eventually wife, as they travel the world having adventures and frightening people, as one does when one comes into possession of a wonderful electric elephant.
Life in the Southern Isles; or, Scenes and Incidents in the South Pacific and New Guinea (1876) by Rev. William Wyatt Gill, published by the Religious Tract Society of London.
Since this is one of the earliest reports of tree octopuses of which I can reasonably own an original -- I don't think I could afford an original scroll by Athenaeus of Naucratis if one even existed -- and Gill was the first to bring Polynesian tree octopuses to the unfortunately disinterested attention of the scientific establishment, I acquired a copy for my collection.
I thought I'd share the cover since it's fairly attractive (although sadly devoid of tree octopuses). Click the image above for a larger composit scan of the front, back, and spine. You can also read the scanned text on Google Books.
I've mentioned the use of taxidermied tree octopuses as hat decorations and octopus-inspired hair-styles, now here's another example of octopuses as objects of fashion. From the April 23, 1915 edition of the Tacoma Times:
Beach Belle Uses Octopus As Wristlet In Weird Sand Dance
Los Angeles, April 23. — Probably the strangest pet ever adopted by the shrinking sex is the little octopus carried by Miss Diana Rico, a belle of the beaches here. Whenever she goes bathing or strolling along the sands Miss Rico carries the tentacled mascot wrapped about her wrist.
This weird creature of the deep gave Miss Rico an inspiration for a new tango step, "The Dance of the Octopus," which created a sensation when she first stepped its sinuous figures on the beach.
When not clinging to the arm of its mistress, the baby octopus creeps about a little tank built especially for it.
While we're there, let's see what else was on the front page of the Tacoma Times that day...
There seems to be a recurring theme in Japan of primates driving would-be tree-octopuses back into the sea. I've already covered tree-dwelling hominoids called Kijimunaa that guard the mangroves of Okinawa from the constant threat of octopus invasion, and monkey military retaliations against forest-melon-raiding octopuses, but here's an example on a much larger scale...
Copyright © 2004-2013 Lyle Zapato & ZPi
unless otherwise noted or implied.