Aw You Made Me INK

Sometimes The World Of QTE is quite tiny, indeed. Let’s take a look at the email sent by Shannon J.

“My pet octopus, Harry, surprised me this week….and had a bunch of teeny babies! I call them “Inklets” and they are the cutest little Blobby Cephalopods you have ever seen! Harry turned out to be a Harriet. [When Harry met…Harriet? -Ed] Her Inklets took over the tank!”











  1. There just is no cuter invertebrate.

  2. januaryfarmer says:

    Perhaps I am naive, but I did not know that people had pet octopus.

  3. Eeeeee squishies! (And I did not even mean that as a further Finding Nemo reference. They just ARE.)

  4. emmberrann says:

    Me either,Jan., I thought captive octopodes lived in aquariums.

  5. How big a tank does she have? 😯

  6. Do octopus’ just burst forth the offspring without a male counterpart to help….. her … err …create them???

  7. They really are pretty cute. Never thought I’d say that about octopi but it’s undeniable. Shannon J, have you named the babies? 🙂

  8. 260Oakley says:


  9. fleurdamour says:

    She had no inkling that was going to happen.

  10. fleurdamour says:


  11. Oh the puns! The puns!…Making me smile…(-:
    This has got to be one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen on C.O….they’re so happy to be alive and just chillin’ in their octohouse…(-:

  12. O M G!!

    1. I LOVE octopi! I am so jealous you have them as pets!

    2. So thank you for sharing!!

    3. BABY octopi! I really really could just die right now. So much so that I am braving the annoying wordpress You-have-to-log-in EVEN THOUGH I said to “remember me” and this is why I haven’t commented for so long, er, problem!

    “No inkling!” snerk

  13. Mamabear says:

    Inklets?!! I LOF that word.

    Oooh, how bout ankle jewelry, decorated with little silver octopi and call it an “inklet”?!

  14. DogEared says:

    this is my first time seeing baby inklets. only here at CO. i love you all.

  15. I shall call you Squishy, you shall me mine, and you shall by my Squishy!

  16. Coffee Cup says:

    Me either. Captive octos are usually in aquariums (the zoo kind). They are wildlife, after all, and require a specialized ecosystem.

  17. Coffee Cup says:


  18. EEEEK!

    In Soviet Russia, calamari eats you. 😛

  19. I’m currently knitting an octopus and a squid as wedding gifts for cephalopod-lovers. They’re more colorful than these little guys, but not nearly as cute.

  20. bluebird says:

    Harriet must be healthy to have produced young. What kind of setup do you need, Shannon J? And is there a pic of the proud parent?

  21. bluebird says:

    Where did you find patterns?

  22. aaaaa!! baybeh octopiieeeee! cuuuuute!!! weeeeeee!!!! *babbles incoherently*

  23. Tonmo is a source for pet octopus information online, they are very difficult to keep, Harriet must be VERY well cared for! Often times pet octopuses come from the ocean and are “pre fertilized” the babies pop out later when they are close to a year old surprise! They are very small and cute.

  24. AAAW, little baby Cthulhu-ettes! WHO’s a cute widdle tiny ancient evil! YOU ARE!

  25. PS, Those shellfish have no idea what they’re dealing with. :mrgreen:

  26. skippymom says:

    I just did a little looking into this, and now I am way confused. Everything I looked at said that a female octopus lays about 200,000 eggs, which hatch about seven months after being laid. I didn’t see anything about live births. Anybody able to shed more light here?

  27. Oakley does it again!!

  28. Inkcredibly cute! 🙂

  29. No question about it. 🙂

  30. phred's mom says:

    Acrylic, wool would shrink down to

  31. True

  32. bad cat robot says:

    Theresa, you have a wonderfully warped mind. 😀

  33. MamaDawn In Tulsa says:

    I do not think that means what you think it means…….

  34. Such cute little suckers!

  35. Coffee Cup says:

    If the tank is quite large, maybe Harriett laid eggs in an area that was hidden and Shannon didn’t see them?

  36. Coffee Cup says:

    Um, so I just read that female octopi usually die after their eggs hatch. So uh, maybe this isn’t such a fantastic occasion after all.

  37. The reason is that they tend not to eat when guarding their young in the wild. By the time the little inklets are big enough to roam free, Momma Octopus is dedz from hunger. Mebbe that can be solved in this case…

  38. Coffee Cup says:

    Pehraps. Hopefully, Harriet realized there were no predators and didn’t need to stop eating.

  39. I just wonder what the owner’s going to do when the babies get older. It’s not like she can exactly put an ad in the paper saying “Free to a good home” or something.

  40. Coffee Cup says:

    I wonder if the zoo would take them. Zoos are always desperate to observe octo behavior.

  41. Alice Fraggle says:

    Please don’t tell my husband that you can have octopods as pets! They’re neat and all, but ummm – yuck. I mean the inklets are cute, but grown up octopods are just too slimy for me!

  42. bluebird, i bought a lovely octopus pattern from a person on etsy – but it was crochet. good one, though! includes individual suckers and everything.

  43. Thanks for the Princess Bride reference… 😀

  44. Hah!!

  45. Knit one for me.

  46. I heard, on a wildlife programme, that mother octopi simply drop to the ocean floor and disintegrate, once their child/inklet-bearing years are over. I adore my children and they have turned into wonderful human beings, but I remember thinking that I could sympathise with that… 🙂

  47. They are all “Inklets” or “Derps” to me…there are just sooo many of them! One of the neat ladies I adopted one of the inklets to calls hers, “Kermit.” I love this because when they stick their little blobby eyes out of say, an empty snail shell, they do resemble a certain muppet frog we all know…

  48. Tiny leetle Oods.

  49. Keeping an octopus can be an enormous amount of work. They tend to be very sensitive, need lots of space, and perhaps most importantly, they are notorious escape-artists (especially if you have any other tanks within sight and there appear to be tasty treats residing in it!) and must have a very secure tank- this can be difficult as they are invertebrates and can squeeze through shockingly small spaces.

    I will ad photos of Harry soon to my Flickr!

  50. Coffee Cup says:

    Second place winner.

    Love an ood.

  51. This species of octopus (Octopus bimaculoides) has a “love connection” in which the male give the female some little packets of sperm (perhaps I should call them “spermlings” or something to keep in the spirit of cuteness here…). She holds on to the little gifts until later when she feels it is the right time to introduce them to her eggs. She then attaches her growing baby-puses in a secure location and guards them for approximately 2 months until they hatch. Sadly, the mom-apus dies shortly after her inklets swim away. Harry is still hanging in there with me, but has stopped accepting food and I know I will soon lose my beautiful friend. I feel very privileged to have had this experience and I am so pleased to have been able to share the cuteness of Harry’s babies with all you fellow cute-lovers.

  52. Actually, I have re-homed a few of my inklets at this point. The adoption application process is brutal though and many of the requests I have received have been denied (I ensure that potential adopters have experience, a mature tank that has been escape-proofed, etc). The rest of the inklets will be placed in public aquaria and Universities).

  53. If that’s what Cthulhu looks like I’m moving to R’lyeh.


  55. Beebee squidwards! ❤

  56. O R’lyeh?

  57. I bow down.

  58. The puns, the PUNS!!

  59. So sorry about Harriet, at least she has lots of cute babies that other people will enjoy too.

    I’m curious, is there another male in your tank or did she go online for a love connection? Also, how small are the inklings compared to Mom? They look huge compared to other spawn you see that just hatch.

  60. Cute teeny octopussies!

  61. The inklets are about half the size of a pinkynail. Harry’s body is about the size of my hand (not including her tentacles).

    Harry was wild-caught- Pretty please WAIT FOR THE FOLLOWING EXPLANATION BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO HATE ME! I would never ever ever take an animal from the wild and stick it in an aquarium for my own entertainment- I swear! Harry was taken from the wild by someone else and then that someone couldn’t take care of her after some time. At that point it would not have been responsible to release her (she had been exposed to non-native animals/algae/etc that could become invasive if she managed to have any of it on her) and I was asked to adopt her. It has been a real pleasure for sure and one that I figured would be a once-in-a-life-time opportunity.

    Anyway, I had no idea that Harry had made a love connection before she had been caught and so the inklet invasion was an incredible surprise.

    Okay, sorry for sounding so defensive…had to get that all straight.

  62. This species of octopus is Octopus bimaculoides. They fertilize their eggs and hide them away (Harry hid hers in her large den that no one can see into) and guard them for 2 months until they hatch. At that point they are miniature little octopods and go off on their own. The species lays up to a couple/few hundred eggs…not thousands as with some other species of octopus. Thank goodness too for my sake!

  63. Here is a shot of Harry, before she became a momapus!

  64. It’s an awesome comment that goes for the Princess Bride moment, indeed.

  65. O R’lyeh-able? Also, baby inklets are the most adorable, ever, water creature, ever. Ever.

  66. She’s beautiful….

  67. SalishSeaDiver says:

    Look up the Stubby Squid, and you might reconsider.

  68. Kari Callin says:

    Thanks for explaining how you got her, Shannon. I have ALWAYS wanted an octopus, ever since I was a little girl, but was not willing to take one from the wild, and was pretty disgusted when I saw them being sold in pet stores. I saw the picture of her, she’s gorgeous, and yes, I am very jealous of you getting to have this experience instead of me, but THANK YOU VERY MUCH for sharing the photos! 😀

  69. lisaLASSIE says:

    Thanks for adopting Harriet and giving her such a good home. they are such amazing animals and her inklets are waaayyyy beyond cute.

  70. lisaLASSIE says:

    Shannon I greatly admire your care for these little ones.

  71. Yeah the biggest struggle, beyond the chemistry of a saltwater tank is that you are dealing with an EXTREMELY intelligent and curious creature. I could tell you stories!

    I’d love to see more about Harriet! They can be great pets for the person who has the wherewithall to keep one properly.

    Any plans for separating out the babies?

    Also, I hate to say it but a lot of our cephlapod friends die when they reproduce. I hope that’s not the case with your octo-friend. 😀

  72. A lot of invertebrates, fish and even lizards have been known to undergo Parthenogenesis where they essentially give birth to a clutch of clones. It’s pretty cool actually and not a lot is know about what triggers various creatures to do it.

  73. Ah. Disregard my previous comment. I was sure Harriet was on her way out but I wasn’t sure if you knew it yet. So Harriet was obviously exposed to a male somewhere in her past eh? Very interesting. I’d never herd of Octopods doing the Parthenogenesis thing. I should always read all the way through before I comment. XD

    This is all very fascinating. Is there a link to a blog/tumbler anything that will be documenting this journey? I’m a huge fan of our cephlapod friends and would love to live vicariously through you. 🙂

  74. ugh… heard… /facepalm

  75. EVERYTHING you just said! 😀

  76. What a truly gorgeous animal! ❤ ❤ Octopus!

  77. Thank you. She is a lovely creature. Sigh…

  78. Bless you! It takes a special person to take on a rescue this rigorous. You have my deepest respect. Also, I’m just a little jealous. ;-p


  79. Shannon, I think I love you. 🙂

  80. Ah but you haven’t lived until you’ve had an octopus “taste” you with all of those little suckers! 😉 It’s really a unique feeling. They are a joy to watch as they are so stinking intelligent. Some even start to recognize their keepers.

  81. Favorite Doctor Who Creatures EVAH!

  82. OMgosh, Heather Hanson, I LOVE the tasty sucker action. My love-o-pus will crawl right up my arm and say, “Hi, can I please have a crab…they are my favorite.” Well, at least that is what I interoperate the behavior to mean…

    And, she definitely recognizes me. She only does her swimmy dance when I approach- I am the only one that feeds her, so I am her favorite human.

  83. Awww…thanks!

  84. Are you going to keep one of the babies to carry on the mum’s legacy?

    They’re all so cute! I’d have to keep a sign over the tank saying “they will grow up” to remind myself that I couldn’t keep them all.

  85. BIG! Much of my life is now dedicated to managing the tank. A single octopus generates a huge mess (they are sooooo messy, perhaps because they love to eat so much that they get excited and fling their food all around the place???), but a tank full of inklets- I don’t even want to tell you how many…hint, most people do not live as many years = to the number of octopoda blobby bodies I now care for- is a whole ‘nuther story and I am forced to set up more/larger tanks to care for them. I have a job and a kid and a husband too…I might die soon, but I will be happy.


  86. Please knit more octopods and post them on etsy or something so i may buy one.

  87. Harry stopped taking food from me altogether 9 days ago. I keep trying, but she refuses. This to me means that she will now senesce (deteriorate and die). I won’t stop trying to feed her though…

    I love cephalopods (before Harry, I cared for CAPTIVE BRED cuttlefish), but they too are painful to love because they die soon after they make babies. It is worth it though because they too are awesome.

    Also, I have a teenage son and believe me, I love him, but as bookmonstercats has suggested, I don’t blame the cephs for dying soon after they know their little ones have hatched! ha!

  88. “like” gosh, i sure am fb trained…

  89. i LOVE it, but sadly, even though it sounds correct, “octopi” is not correct. According to greek rules (that is where the word originates), we have to call them “Octopodes” or “Octopuses”or “Octopoda.” I still agree that octopi sounds right and I will support you in the future if you continue to call multiple octopuses octopi. gah! sorry for the grammatical crap. anywhoooo…the jewelry idea is fantastic.

  90. k. last post…i have to take advantage of the fact that you all seem open to the idea of loving/admiring invertebrates (they always seem to take a back seat to the cutest terrestrial animals!)! Here is a clip of my non-baby octo taking my camera from me:

    She “tasted” my camera and then finally let it go (the part where the camera pulls up at the end of the clip is where my octopet let go of my machinery…

  91. pryncesshmm says:

    I’ve just been going thru from Flickr photos and videos… and the inklets in actions are MOST adorable!! I think I may sit in your Flickr feed all day to look at the cute little inklets. 🙂

  92. Belinda Fernandez says:

    That was great. For reals. 🙂

  93. Shannon, you are bringing tears to my eyes. It is so awesome to know that there are other people in the world that feel as strongly about their animals as I do. In my case, it’s cats, so I’m sure I have it easier than you, but still…

  94. This is so cute. Where is Mommy? would love to see her. How much did you have to pay for Harriet? Do they need a male to have babies?

  95. HA! I find myself looking for a *like* button ALL THE TIME!

    I almost want a Life *like* button now.

  96. I’ve been trying to tell people this for YEARS but no one believes me!

  97. My Invert-bio prof raised a Giant Pacific Red that came into her care because he was in one of her plankton samples. She had him from teeny-TINY to the full size with an arm-span of over 8 ft. When she came into the lab in the morning he’d crawl out of his tank, climb the fridge and dangle some of his arms over the door as she’d fetch his breakfast. Imagine excited tentacle action.

    She swore she could almost hear him saying: “Oh BOY, OH boy, OH BOY! CRABS MY FAVORITE!!”.

    When it came time to release him she had him in a giant jar strapped to the roof of her tiny car. She got some interesting looks as his GIANT octo-eyes were giving everyone the stare-down on the street.

    She’s got some of the BEST stories ever. It is because of her that I’ve decided that our Octopod friends are superior in just about every way and are among my favorite of all animals. XD

  98. *Pleh* Not edible. Dang, I was hoping there was a crab in there somewheres. 😉

  99. I got that one!

  100. So cool!

  101. WOW! How very cool!

  102. That’s so cool-Harriet is a rescue octopus! Thanks for adopting her & giving her a good home. And the inklets are super-cute 🙂

  103. That is super-cool! How big of a tank does Harriet require?

  104. bluebird says:

    Oh, my. What a beauty.

  105. Best. Story. EVER!

  106. 50+ gallons! They can start out in a smaller tank, but definitely need a minimum of 50 gal once they are grown…

  107. “Like”

  108. HARRY ATE A CRAB TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe my friend will hang in a while longer for me after-all! *So happy*

  109. Yay! Great news! Hope she is doing better today.

  110. om-friggin-g… are there more pictures of this wonderful octo-family??? I wanna see mom!

  111. WAH! Found em’!

  112. I have to admit I checked back into Cute Overload today because I was worried about Harry[iet]. That is such a sweet and deep story about Octopus motherhood! You are a champ for doing all that amazing work to take care of her so well. p.s. Maybe she was just dieting for the upcoming bikini season..? 🙂

  113. pryncesshmm says:

    Me too… I’ve been stalking this post waiting for an update 🙂

  114. Count me as a newly hatched Octomaniac! I had no idea.

    I sure hope you have a blog somewhere so we can follow you and Harry around for a long time! 😉

  115. Update 4/21/13:

    Harry is looking a little smallish still, but she has been venturing out of her den several times a day chasing the crabs. I think (*hope*) she has plenty of time left with me and, together, we will defy nature.

    Also, I confirmed today that several of my inklets will be adopted by Legoland’s, SEA LIFE Aquarium in Carlsbad. So, they will continue to be loved and lots of folks will get to enjoy them. Be sure to visit them and give them my love if you happen to visit the aquarium in a couple months (I doubt they will be on display right away and they are sooo tiny right now that all the visitors would be like, “Hey- there aren’t ANY octopods in here and that is all we care about and so now we are sad.”).

  116. Shannon,
    Congratulations on the adaptation of several of your inklets by Legoland. that is a huge accomplishment and I am sure took lots of work on your part! The amount of red-tape involved making this process go was rigorous I’m sure. These adorable creatures will now be able to be enjoyed by thousands of people and will inspire many more invert lovers. Thanks for sharing your awesome story and keeping us updated!

  117. I hope the octopus keeper has checked out how to give these babies the best chance to grow up. Careful they don’t get sucked into the tank filtration system, and separate them from mama, so she doesn’t hurt them by accident. She doesn’t mean harm, but her ancestors evolved in an environment where the babies were swept far away by water currents. My pet octopus also turned out to be a girl, though she had a boy’s name: Curious George. She got her name because she had to examine every little thing that entered her world, nothing intimidated her. Homer never came out of his cave it he could help it.