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Seattle Aquarium Cancels Octopus Mating Display Over Fears of Octo-Cannibalism

Celebrate Valentine's Day with some good old all-American cannibalism.

The Seattle Aquarium cancelled their yearly Valentine’s Day octopus mating demo because they were afraid the male octopus, Kong might eat his mate. When there’s a large size discrepancy between a male and a female octopus, the possibility of one octopus eating the other increases. Kong clocks in at a whopping 70 pounds, with the largest female weighing in at only half that.

As CNN points out, this may have actually saved Kong’s life: after mating, both octopuses/octopodes/octopi die. The male dies first, a few months after mating, and the female dies shortly after hatching the eggs. Instead, Kong is being released into the Puget Sound in a live release event that you can watch as part of the aquarium’s Octopus Week.

First of all: wow, that’s a really big octopus. 70 pounds is just under the average weight of an 11-year-old boy. Imagine getting eaten by that thing. It’s almost the basis of a scary nature movie (Syfy, call me). Second: damn, Seattle. I’ve heard of some pretty “out there” Valentine’s Day traditions, but this one really takes the takoyaki.

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Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (, and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters ( She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.