Top 12 Sy Montgomery Quotes

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“The fact that three-fifths of an octopus’ neurons are not in their brain, but in their arms, suggests that each arm has a mind of its own.”

― Sy Montgomery

“When I would visit my octopus friend, Octavia, at New England aquarium, usually she would look me in the face, flow right over to see me, and flush red with emotion when she took my arms in hers. Often when I’d stroke her she’d turn white beneath my touch, the colour of a relaxed octopus.”

― Sy Montgomery

“I heard one story about an octopus in a home tank who would get out, cruise around the house, take knick-knacks, and drag them back to its tank. Like a dog! They’re so smart that there are octopus enrichment handbooks so you don’t bore your octopus. I’ve seen them play with Legos, Mr. Potato Head, you name it!”

― Sy Montgomery

“We split from our common ancestor with the octopus half a billion years ago. And yet, you can make friends with an octopus.”

― Sy Montgomery

“To get to know someone so different from myself as an octopus, and to know that the individual recognised me and even enjoyed my company, was an enormous privilege. The octopuses I came to know were strong but gentle, and the suction of their suckers tasting my skin pulled me like an alien’s kiss.”

― Sy Montgomery

“Octopus can fish for prey while deciding what color and pattern to turn, what shape to make their bodies, be on alert for predators and aware how far away their dens are.”

― Sy Montgomery

“I think all animals have souls. I feel certain that if we have souls, octopuses have souls, too. If you grant something a soul, it demands a certain level of sacredness. Look around us. The world is holy. It is full of souls.”

― Sy Montgomery

“I have thought for a long time that one day, if I finally got to deserve it, I would love to write about the minds of invertebrates.”

― Sy Montgomery

“Anthropomorphism is such an interesting concept. It means projecting human thoughts and emotions onto an animal. Which implies that thoughts and feelings belong to humans alone. Of course, if you believe in evolution, or if you believe in the Bible, that’s not so. Both evolution and the Bible tell us that we’re part of a family.”

― Sy Montgomery

“I have always loved octopuses. No sci-fi alien is so startlingly strange.”

― Sy Montgomery

“Experiments at Seattle aquarium prove that octopuses can tell individual humans apart – even when the people are dressed identically – just by looking up at them through the water.”

― Sy Montgomery

“The purpose of fear, clearly, is to help you get away – which it does. If your heart rate increases, there is more blood pumping so you can use that blood to fuel your muscles to run away. Oxygen is sent to the lungs so you can run fast. Pupils dilating help you see in the dark. All of that prepares your body to fight or escape.”

― Sy Montgomery
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