Curtis Meyer reporter
All of my previous stories simply laid out the known facts about different cryptids, but today I am going to take a different approach. I would like to examine the direct relationship between the Northwest Tree Octopus, (Octopus paxarbolis), and the humans who threaten this elusive species.
The Northwest Tree Octopus is just one of many tree-dwelling cephalopods. Hailing from the Olympic Peninsula, home to Olympic National Park in Washington, they are a welcome part of the park ecosystem. Typically, all species of tree octopi tend to remain near the sea or other large bodies of water, helping to keep their skin hydrated. This makes the Pacific Northwest a good habitat for them.
No one knows what inspired the octopus to make the jump from water to land, but they seem to thrive in the forests, using their eight appendages to swing from branch to branch. This form of motion is known as tentaculation.
Known for its intelligence, the Northwest Tree Octopus has the largest brain to body ratio of any mollusk. They are born in the water and mate in the water, living the rest of their lives in the trees. Tree octopi have a varied diet, feasting on bird eggs, squirrels or frogs, and whatever fruits and berries they can find.
Able to change colors, they blend into their environment and tend to avoid humans when possible. The Northwest Tree Octopus is also endangered, and this brings me to my point. We have an obligation to help these creatures before it’s too late.
While not officially listed as endangered, the population of the Northwest Tree Octopus is at historically low numbers. The reasons are almost entirely due to humans. Logging and human encroachment have taken away the tree octopi habitat, while human pets such as cats and dogs hunt the tree octopus much as they would a squirrel.
That’s not to mention pollution and other environmental issues affecting the earth as a whole. The biggest threat to all tree octopi’s species, however, is not the logging companies themselves but the paper companies, particularly those who print textbooks.
You see, the existence of the tree octopus is denied by most educators and educating textbooks, leaving many to believe that claims of its existence are a hoax. In reality, tree octopus tend to get caught in the manufacturing of pulp, and when squished they spray ink which ruins the pulp vats.
By intentionally spreading misinformation about the tree octopus, the big textbook companies initially sought to paint the tree octopus as evil, hoping to kill off the species. When that failed, they turned to their present method of denying the tree octopi existence.
Most teachers have been taught in textbooks, and therefore have no knowledge of the tree octopus. This is an easy fix. All it takes to spread tree octopi awareness is you. If you have a professor who has not heard of this rare creature, take the time to educate them about the topic. You can also write letters to the big textbook companies, taking the fight right to the source.
This is not the end of the tree octopi struggles, however. It faces a threat in another longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, the Sasquatch. The tree octopus is an integral part of the Sasquatch traditions. Each year, the Sasquatch goes around and gathers the tree octopus, eating them as a vital source of protein.
This has caused conflicts between the environmentalists and Sasquatch. The environmentalists have asked the Sasquatch to halt their gathering, but most Sasquatch view the endangerment of the tree octopus as caused by humans and believe the humans should fix it.
There have been ongoing discussions between the two groups, but it seems unlikely that it will be resolved without some kind of intervention. As of the date of this article, there has not been any solution.
Now, many have wanted to donate to causes supporting the octopi tree. However, a tree octopus has no need for money, living off the land. If one demands to donate, supporting environmental activist groups is an easy way to make an impact.
The Northwest Tree Octopus, in particular, employs paper money as a way to line its nest. Placing a bill on the ground of a tree, the tree octopus will quickly scuttle down and bring it back to its nest. Bringing plenty of one-dollar bills will help a tree octopus line the nest sufficiently.
If you wish to learn more about the tree octopus and find more ways to assist them, I encourage you to visit online websites, such as save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus. Please, for the tree octopi’s sake, do your part.