Alien 28 is a young female Blanket Octopus (Tremoctopus sp.) and is ~4cm TL.
One of my most thrilling prize finds of my decade-long Aliens hunt has been this beautiful blanket octopus. I find several blankets per year, but this was the largest and prettiest (and most cooperative) that I’ve ever encountered. Blanket octopus are unique in that they are completely pelagic, spending their entire lives drifting the high seas, and never settle onto the sea floor. Even when brooding eggs, the mother will carry them through the open ocean instead of making a den like other octopus. Another fascinating trait is best seen by zooming in on their upper four arms – notice how they are lined in pink squiggly bits? That’s because they locate highly venomous stinging creatures (in this case, a Portuguese man-o-war) and line their arms with the nematocyst-carrying tentacles for defense! Even cooler, I heard from a biologist friend that they’ll often take some long stinging tentacles and wield them like whips for popping anything that gets too close! After I had been shooting this beauty for ~10 minutes, I had to put that to the test. As my index finger approached 2″ away, it actually reached out with a man-o-war tentacle, and BAM! I sure learned a lesson from that encounter! After that, it was photography only – no more hand-shaking necessary – and I sure didn’t try my famous “lick test”!
For printing, we offer the Aliens as squares on either aluminum or canvas, but they are customizable into other shapes if your design plan requires it. You can purchase this luxury wall art online in standard sizes, but if you’d like to discuss a custom crop or size, please contact one of our design consultants at the art gallery. Perhaps our most popular arrangement for Aliens is a grouping of three of our 15″ x 15″ aluminums, but I encourage you to discuss the size & shape of your project’s wall with one of our design consultants, who will help you develop an amazing contemporary art installation that blurs the lines between natural beauty and scientific fascination. Alien 28 is available up to a maximum size of 40″.