This incredible video of a female blanket octopus is doing the rounds on Twitter and people are absolutely obsessed.
A blanket octopus (or Tremoctopus) is a pretty rare species and is referred to as such because of the translucent webs which connect the arms of the females. The result is visually stunning, with the "blankets" swirling around creating mesmerising patterns in different shades of purple, blue, yellow and orange.
Its rainbow vibe is pretty LGBTQ+ rights in itself, but it turns out said octopus is also actually here to help us smash the patriarchy too!
Ever heard of sexual size dimorphism? It basically means that the male and female versions of the species have drastically different sizes, and blanket octopuses are the most extreme example of this phenomenon – females can grow 40,000 times the size of males, leaving the octo-dudes looking pretty irrelevant by comparison.
In an even more iconic twist, the mating ritual goes as follows: males have a large arm which is detached from the rest of the body. The females keep hold of this arm until fertilisation is complete, at which point the male almost always dies. The females then go on to carry around 100,000 eggs – yes, A HUNDRED THOUSAND – around with them attached to their body until they hatch.
Is this the most feminist thing you've ever heard? We think so.
The original footage was posted by Rebecca Helm of the Open Ocean Exploration, as an antidote to all the awful news we are fed on the daily.
She also tweeted out a blog post in which he explains why the blanket octopus is her favourite animal. It's a great analysis of why the blanket octopus should be everyone's spirit animal, and includes this perfect explanation of the aforementioned mating ritual:
When a male finds a female he likes, he doesn’t try to convince her that he’s the right guy. Instead, he fills up one of his little arms with sperm, sticks it to her, and breaks it off his own body. She keeps it, and can use it if she wants to. He is very patient like that. He’s all about making her happy. Did I mention he probably dies afterward? He likes her that much.
It's all very Romeo and Juliet and – tragic death aside – we have no choice but to stan.