Teaching Your Octopus to Swim
Whaaaat.........surely an octopus doesn’t need to be taught to swim.
You haven’t met my octopus though. My octopus hasn’t got a name yet.
The obvious name is ‘Ollie’ so for the sake of this article you’re going to be
introduced to Ollie, and as most people I have met with this particular name
are male, Ollie is male.
Ollie is a typical octopus with 8 arms. What is not so typical is his lack of co-ordination with his swimming. Each of his arms has a habit of demanding all his energy and attention at the same time. Consequently Ollie sometimes swims in a rather erratic fashion and ends up either going in circles, or not moving at all. Picture all 8 arms frantically splashing around – sounds a bit like the first time I ever fell into a swimming pool!
Ollie needs to learn to manage his arms so he can control the direction, speed and co-ordination of movement. This management will allow him to change direction smoothly, overcoming any obstacles such as the ever changing flow, speed and direction of the water.
Have you figured it out yet?
Ollie is unique in that he has interchangeable arms allowing him to take some off and rest them whilst the others are swimming (let’s hope he doesn’t try and attach ALL his extra arms at the same time. Imagine the chaos). Each arm represents a different aspect of my life.
These arms are in groups (to make it easy to find). There are different groups for business , health, hobby, social, home life, etc. Within the business group there there are smaller arms representing the different sections of my working life eg; massage, fitness P+ve 1x1, Netcoffee, massage, newsletter, Facebook, website, etc.
You get the idea?
Every aspect has demands on Ollie’s time and energy. If he lets all arms do their own thing simultaneously, then he will be trying to swim in every direction at the same time and getting nowhere.
I need to teach him to swim. By interchanging his arms I can ensure he has the right arms to swim in the direction he wants to go, as smoothly as possible. Changes in the water flow, running out of energy or having reached his desired destination may mean Ollie needs to swap arms from time to time.
That’s not the only thing Ollie can do. His soft body means he can change shape and squeeze through small gaps if required. As pointed out by Prof Wikipedia;
‘Octopuses have a complex nervous system and excellent sight, and are among
the most intelligent and behaviourally diverse of all invertebrates’.
Oh yeah, his behaviour can definitely be diverse. That’s why he needs to be taught to swim!
By using the right arms at the right time he swims smoothly, efficiently and happily.
Does your octopus need swimming lessons?