Well, it turns out that the males are, anyway (big surprise there).
A UC Berkeley graduate student has done research showing that octopuses flirt and appear to hold “hands” during sex. The males exhibit macho behavior, engage in wrestling matches, and even strangle each other to compete over females.
Unlike in the human realm, big females are apparently better when it comes to cherchez l’octopussy. A male will seek a big female and stick with her, but he doesn't turn down the opportunity to mate with smaller fry if one happens to stumble across his path. (I’m assuming these quickie encounters are the octo-equivalents of one-night stands, and are never observed by Big Mama waiting at the home rock.)
Small males evidently get quite creative and sneaky when it comes to nicking a little nooky from a larger male. They hide behind rocks and pounce when Big Daddy is away, or they change their color to masquerade as a female, and do the nasty right under Big Daddy’s beak. (Male octopuses must think they’re watching two females going at it, which I guess is every guy’s fantasy, no matter what the species.)
So what do the mating habits of octopuses have to do with this blog and writing? Well, I’m an avid collector of IFNWKs (pronounced if-en-wicks). This stands for “Interesting Facts Not Worth Knowing.” My mind attracts them like cat hair on a black suit, and they often find their way into my writing.
I know that somehow, someday, a randy octopus will make its way into one of my stories.
How about you? Do you have any IFNWKs that you particularly like?
Update: Hey, Camille had a great idea to run a contest for the best IFNWK. Post your comment and IFNWK in the Comments section of this blog by 9 p.m. PT this coming Thursday. Winner gets a signed copy of DYING TO BE THIN.