A California fish-market owner bought an octopus and set it free because he feels a certain affinity with cephalopods, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Giovanni DeGarimore, owner of Giovanni's Fish Market in Morro Bay, bought the 70-pounder earlier this month for a couple hundred dollars from a local crab fisherman who'd caught it by mistake. DeGarimore then named it Fred and released the creature in a secure area without sea lions or other potential risks, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reports. So why this octopus love when DeGarimore makes a living selling fish?
"It's just been a culmination of events through the last 10 years," says DeGarimore, who recalls how a cousin once bought a live octopus from a sushi restaurant and set it free. "She was kind of my inspiration." DeGarimore also encountered an octopus while scuba diving in Fiji and marveled at its intelligence. "Essentially, we played a game of hide and seek for 15 minutes under the ocean," he says. (Scientific American has reported on octopuses' smarts and the Tribune on their ability to wiggle away.) DeGarimore says he didn't intend to attract all this attention, but will be pleased "if my little contribution can make a bigger difference in the world." (See Fred on Facebook or watch a video of an octopus being born.)