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October 8th is Octopus Day!

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Today is World Octopus Day!

A few years ago, we checked out a book from the library called Octopuses One to Ten by Ellen Jackson.

A rhymed counting book with factual sidebars, this text launched our fascination with the ocean’s eight-armed wonders. Did you know octopuses have nine brains, one for each arm and one central command? That a huge octopus can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter? That some octopuses carry around coconut shells to provide instant shelter in case they spot a threat? Octopuses are so cool! (Proudly insert nerd emoji here.)

In Jackson’s book, the rhyme for the number eight goes like this: “Celebrate and give a cheer / on October eight each year.” She explains that this particular day was chosen since the prefix “octo-” means eight (which makes me so curious as to why October is the tenth month of our calendar and not the eighth, but I am forcing myself to limit rabbit holes while writing so I’m resisting the urge to research that…for now). The book concludes with some clever ideas for celebrating. One is to make an octopus treat by sandwiching four gummy worms in between the halves of an Oreo. Another is an octopus craft using an empty toilet paper roll.

When Nate announced he wanted to celebrate World Octopus Day this year, I would have been content to create the Oreo octopuses and call it a day. But WEEKS ago, Nate grabbed an empty box and Octopuses One to Ten and proceeded to assemble the materials he’d need for his craft.

I’m a total sucker for that level of enthusiasm, so after school today we’ll be making those. Sometimes my crafts turn out well and sometimes they’re epic fails–check out Instagram later today to see which way this one goes!

The spirit of Saturday Means Pancakes is that ordinary days are worth celebrating. It’s a blast to find national or international days like this one and come up with the ways we’ll commemorate it. After the last googly eyes are affixed to our toilet paper rolls, we’ll watch some videos, perhaps while munching on our octopus sugar bombs. Once I started YouTubing octopuses, I found it really hard to stop, but cut myself off after I’d found these five videos I just HAD to share. They’re all really short. And since I realize not everyone may find octopuses *quite* as incredible as we do, they’re listed roughly in order of descending coolness. Tell me in the comments which one’s your favorite! Happy World Octopus Day to you and your kin.

*Some of the videos were garbled when I tried to play them from here, so I’ve included the YouTube links as captions.


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  1. Well I didn’t PLAN on spending part of my Friday night watching octopus YouTube videos… But here we are 😆🤓

  2. How fun Katie! I so wish I’d done more celebrating ordinary days as a mom. I second Alicia’s recommendation of My Octopus Teacher, but not for the kids. It’s amazingly deep and emotional! (And it was filmed in South Africa!)

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