On Reading Octopus Ink: a form(less) text

Armed with eight ribbons of muscle, the octopus flexes texture while chromatophores light up its skin with an orchestra of color, enabling the creature to camouflage with kelp, play like a rock, or wear its emotions on its eight rubbery sleeves. Unlike its shelled relatives, this boneless mollusk can take almost any shape, making it more masterful than Houdini. The octopus has been known to escape escape-proofed aquariums and can squeeze through an opening the size of a quarter, or anything slightly bigger than its beak. This creature is able to change shape and color because of its (de)centralized nervous system in which two-thirds of its 500,000 neurons surge through its arms. The octopus’ unique wiring gives each arm its own cognitive prowess and an overall advanced intelligence, which works very differently than human intelligence and perplexes and intrigues evolutionary scientists. Knowing that intelligence can and has evolved on a path so divergent than our own might help us understand that intelligence not only takes different forms, but that there are different forms of intelligence. If only we were fluent readers of octopus ink, we might know the pleasures of tasting with our hands.