Think your Valentine’s Day was rough? At least you aren't Kong, a giant Pacific octopus at the Seattle Aquarium whose romantic tête–à–tête was canceled because staff members feared he’d eat his date.
Each February 14, the Seattle Aquarium celebrates undersea love by inviting visitors to watch two octopuses mate. This year’s star was the 70-pound Kong, whose romp was intended to give curious guests a glimpse into the mating rituals of the eight-legged animal. However, KOMO News reports that the aquarium scrapped Kong’s blind date at the last minute because the colossal creature was too big for the aquarium’s lady octopuses.
Since the females weighed only 30 to 40 pounds each, officials feared that Kong would choose cannibalization over consummation and devour his new girlfriend. “Even if we put a 30 or 45-pound female out there, there’s a chance he would see her as food,” Tim Carpenter, the Seattle Aquarium’s curator of fish and invertebrates, told Crosscut.com. “We were looking for an animal of at least 60, 65 pounds.”
Instead of watching as Kong got it on, visitors were instead treated to a “one-of-a-kind, up-close look at the world’s largest octopus species” as divers swam with Kong in the aquarium’s Window on Washington Waters exhibit. On Monday, divers released Kong back into the waters of his native Puget Sound.
The bachelor octopus might want to hold off on finding a similarly sized local companion. Giant Pacific octopuses like Kong live between three to five years, mate only once, and die several months after doing the deed. Kong’s lonely Valentine’s Day might have ended up prolonging his life, CNN points out—a way better consolation prize than a pint of Ben & Jerry's and Netflix.
All images courtesy of iStock.