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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 (thebolditalic.com), and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters (spinningplatters.com). 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.