The Cuddliest Octopus

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

The Cuddliest Octopus

June 29, 2015

Usually when we talk or think about octopuses, “cute” isn’t the first word that comes to mind. But this eight-legged critter really is cute — so cute that scientists want to call itOpisthoteuthis Adorabilis. Until now, this type of octopus has been called the flapjack octopus, since it looks a bit like a pancake: it has webbing connecting its legs, making it look like a flapping parachute as it swims. It lives very deep in the ocean, sometimes as far down as 2,000 feet, where the water is very cold. So the Monterey Bay Aquarium keeps their new leggy friend in a tank of chilled water. They’ve been waiting more than a year for the octopus to lay eggs, and might have to wait 2-3 more years…cold-water sea creatures don’t lay eggs very often. If they do lay eggs, you can bet those octopus babies will be adorable.

Wee ones: Who has more legs, you or an octopus? (All octopuses have 8 legs.)

Little kids: How many legs do you and an octopus have together?  Bonus: If it’s June right now and the octopus finally lays eggs 4 months from now, in what month will they show up?

Big kids: If you can scuba dive a whole mile deep (5,280 feet), and the cute octopus makes it only to 1,000 feet, how much deeper did you swim?  Bonus: Which would stretch farther on your kitchen counter, a row of 6 8-inch flapjacks, or 7 of these 7-inch flapjack octopuses?

 

 

 

Answers:
Wee ones: The octopus.

Little kids: 10 legs.  Bonus: In October.

Big kids: 4,280 feet.  Bonus: The 7 octopuses, since they’d reach 49 inches, while the pancakes would span only 48 inches.

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking while still in diapers, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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