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Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy from Pexels

Octopuses are fascinating creatures with incredible problem-solving skills and breathtaking camouflage. But overall, they are short-lived, typically around for just one to two years. That’s because they’re semelparous, which means they reproduce just once before they die.

Once an octopuse mother lays her eggs, she stops feeding – she’ll stay and watch over her eggs until they hatch, slowly starving to death. In captivity, towards the end, sometimes she’ll tear off her own skin, and eat the tips of her own tentacles.

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Now, scientists have figured figured out why this grim scenario happens. It has to do with the optic gland between the octopus’s eyes; a gland similar to the pituitary gland in humans.

In 1977, researchers removed this gland and found that the octopus’ mothering instincts disappeared. She abandoned her eggs, started feeding again, and went on to live a much longer life. The maturation of the reproductive organs appears to be driven by secretions from the optic gland. These same secretions, it seems, inactivate the digestive and salivary glands, which leads to the octopus starving to death. (1)

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Octopuses. Giving birth. Dying.

Humans. Giving birth. Dying.

Gods. Giving birth. Dying.

A cosmos starving to death.

For it needs to be.

That was always the case.

Not death after life.

But life after death…