WEIRD NEWS
02/15/2016 06:22 am ET Updated Feb 15, 2016

Octopus Valentine's Day Sex Session Scrapped Over Cannibalism Fears

The Seattle Aquarium said the 70-pound cephalopod could end up eating rather than mating with the smaller octopus.

Poor Kong.

The Seattle Aquarium's octopus was due to spend Valentine's Day having sex, but the mating session was canceled over concerns he'd make his female companion his lunch rather than his lover, KOMO reported.

Staff said the 70-pound Kong was way too big for his fellow female cephalopods plucked from the sea, who tipped the scales at just 30 to 40 pounds each. Worried he'd end up eating them, the staff scrapped the popular event and Kong was joined in his tank by a diver instead.

"We've never seen an animal that was ready to mate that was smaller than 35 pounds," Tim Carpenter, the aquarium's curator of fish and invertebrates, explained to CrossCut.com. "Beyond that, we won't even bother."

Giant Pacific octopuses like Kong live between three to five years and grow to around 90 pounds, according to the aquarium's website. Dubbed "terminal breeders," they start looking for sex towards the end of their lives. Males die soon after doing the deed.

Giant Pacific octopuses, such as the one pictured, start looking for sex shortly before the end of their lives.
antos777 via Getty Images
Giant Pacific octopuses, such as the one pictured, start looking for sex shortly before the end of their lives.

Females lay eggs and tend to them, but they don't eat and waste away, usually dying once their offspring hatch.

The aquarium's Valentine's Day octopus "Blind Date" has been held annually for 10 years. According to CrossCut.com, the 8-legged creatures are collected from the Puget Sound inlet. Whether they actually mate, or just ignore each other, is pretty much the luck of the draw.

"A blind date is a blind date, and you never know how it's going to go," said Carpenter.

Kong's exact age is not known. He'll be released back into the Puget Sound on Monday, Regional News Network reported.

Here's hoping Kong enjoys his final months, and gets to experience a little love.

 

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