Why the Octopus, pardon, Booktopus?
I've chosen the octopus as my blog's mascot. Why so? Imagine how much fun it would be if each of your eight arms could peruse a book while your main brain reads an additional one?
Nine brains - reading nine books at a time - Paradise!
Take the octopus (I know, I know, we're talking about 300 octopus species, from thimble tiny to manta ray massive, there is no such thing as THE octopus). Its eight arms have their own brain each and can act of their own free will, even without the knowledge or consent of the central brain. Even a chamaeleon will blanch to linen white if confronted with an octopus' camouflage skills: not only are the cephalopods able to adapt their skin colour, but also their shape and body surface, to look like seaweed, coral, a sea snake, a flounder, a brittle star, a piece of garbage, you name it, the octopus embodies it. Maybe an octopus can even see with its skin, although this is still open to discussion. It can, however, hypnotize crabs, its favourite treat, by flashing psychedelic neon signals over the skin of its tentacles. As the crab stares at the flickering light show, it doesn't realize that death is coming its way.
This fantastic book is a must-read about the eight-armed aliens: Peter Godfrey-Smith (2016) Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea and the Deep Origins of Consciousness. Farrar, Straus and Giroux