98 Replies to “Live octopus tentacles!”

  1. Oh my god, I have never seen anything like that before. Do you wait for them to stop writhing before you eat them? Or just go for it?

  2. They calm down after a little while, but then when you go after them again, they start up again. It’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen brought to a dinner table.

  3. Fun times! I’ve tried it…once! That’s the only time that I need my food to attack me back! 🙂

  4. They basically tasted like escargot — in other words, no inherent taste. I dipped ’em in chili sauce, which is what I mostly tasted. I will say though, I picked the less squirmy ones.

  5. Apparently this is occasionally dangerous, since the suckers can adhere to the inside of your throat, choking you.

    (I think I learned this from the Wikipedia entry on Oldboy.)

  6. Way to go man! I have found that this (eating live/ newly dismembered octopus) is definetley worth braging about.
    Then again, so is writing a book.
    Peace

  7. Dude, that is just messed up. I had an octopus as a pet once and simply could not eat them because of that, but this is on another level entirely.

  8. i’ve had that on cheju-do island served with hot chili sauce. fishermen on cheju-do catch them right there and then someone cuts it up for you right in front of your eyes. it was HARDCORE! certainly not for wimps.

  9. Ugh. Kinda looks like earthworms, but on closer inspection I think I can see the lighter colored underside with the suction things.

  10. I am disgusted at the barbarism of this video, and the posts that consider this to be somehow “cool”, or deserving of lighthearted comments such as “way to go”. This is animal torture. I am disappointed in boingboing and all of humanity.

  11. Swallowing earthworms is way less disgusting.

    Great video. That’s an image I won’t soon forget.

  12. That is a wonderful dish, how often do you get to eat food that is that fresh?! It’s how i wish i could eat beef, still kicking . . .

  13. Katie, I’m a vegetarian myself and found that video to be completely disgusting, but I see no inherent problem with it. Sure it’s barbaric, but a) without a brain connected to those tentacles there would be no pain (after the initial butchering of course), b) it’s not any less barbaric than someone eating a hamburger. I commend them for having the balls to be able to confront their meat like that, unlike most people that just hire butchers for them.

  14. Katie says:

    “I am disgusted at the barbarism of this video, and the posts that consider this to be somehow “cool”, or deserving of lighthearted comments such as “way to go”. This is animal torture. I am disappointed in boingboing and all of humanity.”

    Lighten up. Its the animal kingdom, things get eaten.

  15. “Sure it’s barbaric, but a) without a brain connected to those tentacles there would be no pain (after the initial butchering of course)”

    Actually, the octopus has neurons in its arms, which is why the arms keep moving after they’re cut off. Research indicates that each arm contains millions of neurons. Apparently, the way the octopus brain works is a bit like distributed computing – not a lot of concentrated power, but very smart when you put all the pieces together.

    Anyway, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if those arms were in pain.

  16. @Katie:

    Cry me a river, we are obviously we are the superior species, otherwise they would be eating our writhing limbs.

    bleeding heart liberals…

  17. Yet it somehow ISN’T cruel when a moray eel or a sand shark eats one of these things alive?

    Silly vegetarian, you have eight canines in your mouth for a reason.

  18. A moray eel eats because it needs to. Humans put writhing octopus parts on a plate out of fun. There’s a qualitative difference there, and that’s where the barbarism comes from. I don’t think you can argue that the octopus in this case was humanely killed.

  19. @katie,

    “barbarism”? wow aren’t you a judgment slinging cultural imperialist. as Eat had mentioned, you need to lighten the fuck up.

  20. This is a really interesting debate. I’ve never heard these EXACT ARGUMENTS made both for and against eating animals dozens of times.

    Except for the argument about the tentacle neurons. That was really cool.

  21. @ Amphigorey

    “A moray eel eats because it needs to. Humans put writhing octopus parts on a plate out of fun.”

    I’m sure the natives in the region eat sea food because it’s fun. Hey, what’s life without a little starvation.

  22. Yeah, I have been to South Korea sometime ago and encountered this “store” which was selling live octopus next to a rocky shore. According to the local tour guide, one has to chew really fast to prevent the suckers from getting stuck onto the teeth. Also, divers (woman) who catches these stuffs on the spot needs to be able to dive to a depth of some 50 to 100 feet all while holding their breath without the use of diving equipment. The end result of holding such long breaths is that these divers don’t actually live long.

  23. “A moray eel eats because it needs to. Humans put writhing octopus parts on a plate out of fun. There’s a qualitative difference there, and that’s where the barbarism comes from. I don’t think you can argue that the octopus in this case was humanely killed.”

    LOL “humanely killed” what an oxymoron.

    If you’re gonna eat something, it’s going to die.

    Cockroaches and many insects have similar nervous systems, and still twitch for hours after you step on them. So stop killing bugs? How about no, and go fuck yourself.

  24. @jim All true. But why not let bugs live? Killing them because they’re percieved as pests isn’t a very ‘higher lifeform’ thing to do. And why not be polite to people you disagree with? Adding “go fuck yourself” turned an otherwise reasonable statement into one made by a complete jerk.

    Have a nice day. Begin by helping other people to have a nice day. Even if you don’t like them.

  25. on the subject of pest bugs, we have a saying in our house… that it’s not right to hurt living things for fun, that killing should in general be avoided, especially of things you don’t intend to eat, but sometimes, “sometimes, the bug gotta get whacked”.

    also, biological and chemical weapons are authorized and even justified for used against the frikin’ fire ants.

    but octopus? best non-mammal brain in the ocean, probably about as smart as a golden retriever, some of ’em… which is to say, smart enough to get into advanced mischief, but not smart enough not to get caught at it by the hairless house apes, eventually.

    if they actually had both a taste and a texture less like rubber bands, i could understand the interest… although the “still moving” thing does have a certain visceral appeal, i’ll admit, i would think the novelty would wear off during the chewing phase…

  26. Ugh!!!!!! I can see someone choking some of these down, just to try it out, and then feeling them writhe inside themselves! Urghhhhhh…..

  27. Saw a nature documentary once, where the octopi ate each other! Don’t really know where that leaves the intelligent/non-intelligent debate. Since humans….
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mellified_Man
    (Of course whether humans are in fact intelligent is still arguable)

    On the other hand I’ve heard vegans taste the best. Well, think about it…. The best meat comes from herbivorous animals, therefore vegans should be the most tender. Now that would be a way to end the debate!

  28. I’ve been living in Korea for 8 months now. Live seafood is a delicacy because it is fresh and interesting to chew on. Admittedly, it is a little difficult to stomach at first. They also serve live red seaworms that don’t seem to have a direct translation in English. They live in the mud and squirm about on your plate.

  29. r.e. tentacle neurons: the existence of neurons in the tentacle cannot be an indicator of pain sensation. Neurons do not inherently “feel” things, they transmit information. In a human if you make a nerve block (as a local anaesthetic would), your peripheral nerves may fire wildly at a noxious stimulus (a surgeons knife), but as the information is not transmitted to your central nervous system, you can quite happily talk and function. Though cepholopod nervous systems use local ganglia (mini-brains) distributed peripherally, I think sensory signals are more likely centrally processed.

    The suffering will not occur in the tentacles.

    The question therefore is what happened to the rest of the octopus.

  30. Humans don’t have a “RIGHT” to kill and eat anything, but, if they choose to kill and eat other animals, and if they are the “superior” species as various people are implying, then they have a RESPONSIBILITY to treat them with respect and minimize pain and suffering. Watching them squirm on a plate is hardly respectful.

    PS: Andy, you don’t have 8 canines in your mouth, unless you’re a mutant, or are eating very small dogs???

  31. i agree that humans, nor any other life form on earth don’t really have “RIGHTS” to anything. but just because we have a brain that is superior doesn’t mean we need to treat things humanely. who says so? god? a buddha? but this is all assuming one doesn’t believe in a God or is Buddhist.. etc…

    sooooo…in science you gotta remember, we’re all made up of atoms (protons/neutrons/electrons ==>quarks) arranged in an (dis?)orderly fashion. just the same as your cat.. or the computer you’re working on… or the rocks in your garden.

    arguments –vegan, animal rights, etc. will almost always lead to some sort of evolutionary debate which also turns into a religious one.

  32. Without a central nervous system, there is unlikely to be a “consciousness” to be “aware” of the experience of pain. If you had no cerebral cortex, and I elicited a spinal reflex from you by hitting below your knee with a small hammer (like you’ve seen physicians do countless times), your leg would extend, but you would not “experience” it in any sense that you’re familiar with. So too, it seems unlikely that the octopus, is aware of anything happening to its tentacle after it has been cut off, despite the possibility of some functions being “distributed”.

  33. I hate to sound like a bleeding heart hippy here, but octopi are unique, intelligent creatures with their own personalities. They are at least as intelligent as a dog, probably more so. This is cruel and absolutely horrifying to me. If an octopus could scream, people wouldn’t be doing this fucked up shit.

  34. @ Jim: Pigs are intelligent too. It’s only a matter of culture and conditioning that what meat we find ‘normal’ or horrifying. You’re less likely to kill a pig if you raised it as a baby piglet yourself. Buying it in the supermarket is less ‘personal’ I guess. And since I do not know this piece of octopus personally: bon appetit. I’d say: eat up, or don’t eat meat at all.

  35. Every species was put on the earth to support another. Do we spank sharks for eating seals and other fish? Do we put lions in time-out for killing zebras? Damn people, get over it. We all get hungry, how one person chooses to satisfy that hunger is their business. If you disagree, then just dont fucking eat what they eat, it’s that simple. That’s the great part of being a human, and even moreso- AMERICAN, you have the right to choose how you feel, think, believe and act…..but so does everyone else. I dont judge your malnourished ass for being vegan, don’t judge me because I liek to eat meat and experience foods from different cultures. If you ate meat, you may have enough energy to go to do something produtive instead of getting ass hurt and debating over what another person should eat.

    What do you call a vegan with diarrhea? A SALAD SHOOTER!!

  36. I’m sorry, but that’s just disgusting.

    While I’m usually not one to criticize the culinary delights of other cultures, the sight of recently severed octopus tentacles wriggling around on a plate makes me nauseous.

    And here I thought my gf was looney for being a vegatarian….

  37. Pingback: labtastic » Yummy
  38. I’m not making an argument for vegetarianism(is that a word?) although it might be an effective one. I’m not trying to establish the idea that I’m am morally superior. I’m saying that eating this interesting, intelligent creature WHILE IT IS STILL ALIVE, is not cool.

    You don’t cut a steak off of a pig while it is still alive just to be amused by its squeals. This isn’t even really about eating at all, it’s about entertainment. I reiterate, if an octopus could scream people wouldn’t be doing this shit. Because the creature has no way of communicating its inner state of being, the fact that it has one can be ignored. Unfortunately for mr. octopus, it’s one form of communication happens to be entertaining. “Oh look, it’s struggling, how cute.”

    I guess pigs are fortunate that their squeals lack entertainment value.

  39. Jim, I can appreciate your standpoint and where you’re coming from on this, but despite the potentially misleading title of this video, wasn’t it established that the tentacles were recently severed, not alive? Animated, sure, but not alive in the sense that they process oxygen and continue to grow. I suppose clarifying this point would be rather crucial, since, as was posted earlier, a dismembered but not alive tentacle would retain neurons but not be able to transfer stimuli to a central nervous system or cerebral cortex.

    Therefore, assuming the above is true, it wouldn’t feel pain. ‘“Oh look, it’s struggling, how cute”’ is no longer applicable. Yes, eating them while still animated is just for the pleasure of the diner, but there’s no additional harm to the creature to achieve that entertainment.

    With this in mind, the moral qualifier would be whether the tentacles were removed from the creature while it was still alive or after it had just been killed.

  40. Those arms were in pain?

    WHO CARES? IT’S AN OCTOPUS.

    When you are dealing with a systematized slaughter and consumption of an entire range of creatures, you complain about whether or not they are in pain? Give me a fucking break. It doesn’t make one god damn iota of a difference.

  41. Also, octopus != intelligent creature. Even if it did it wouldn’t change anything. You fucking moralists have never even taken one second to examine the foundations of your petty ideals. I hate to violate Godwin’s Law, but it’s this kind of moral absolutism that caused and allowed the second world war.

  42. I would say the octopus is an extremely intelligent animal, according to research. There are several references to such resarch in the wikipedia article on the subject.

    That said, I would still eat them.

  43. Reminds me of Old Boy, in the film the guy actually orders a live octopus and eats it for real.

  44. Why not just watch the video for what it is? The Japanese are not getting any entertainment from the pain. the culture values food that is fresh. There are always many parallels we can draw from from other cultures. Think about all the food we eat and how it is prepared.

  45. I can’t believe some of these comments. Some of you, like RedZebra, are ignorant idiots.

    “Watching them squirm on a plate is hardly respectful.”

    How would one eat them if not on a plate? Off the floor? C’mon people. It’s a cultural thing. Stop being so hypocritical. How do people kill live lobsters? Kill chickens on a farm? Ever cut the head off of a chicken and see it run around after it’s dead? Some people need a reality check. You guys think just because it’s squirming that it’s still alive and therefore cruel and unusual? Give me a break.

    If it’s not your thing, I completely understand. Believe me, I’ve tried and wouldn’t care to eat them again…at least not raw. But for you to pass judgement and be so critical of others and their customs/cuisine and think Koreans eat raw octopus for some kind of sport or some kind of fun…the hell with you.

  46. i thought the video was pretty sickening, but then i read the comments and it didn’t seem as bad anymore.

  47. “Humane killing” is somewhat of an oxymoron in and of itself. But, “humane killing” comes from the thought that humans are capable of killing something far less painfully than nature typically would.

    Imagine plagues, parasites, fungus, think of wolves running an animal until it’s near death from exhaustion, and then proceeding to devour it’s muscles while it’s still alive, left to bleed to death or die of shock. When humanity prepares dishes like this, at worst, it’s as cruel as what would happen in nature. Food is eaten for a reason, and although culture often brings to eat unnecessary things, I don’t think this is eaten as a “status symbol” or other cultural pressure. I assume this dish has come about because it was a readily available food source, and the “head” of the octopus may be undesirable or unfit for consumption.

    That is one question to Cyrus or anyone who’s eaten the dish: After they cut off the tentacles, what do they do with the body? Is it thrown away or used in a different meal?

    But the point is, the only valid argument that can be made, is that humanity can be cruel, or “humane”, by simple virtue of humanity’s ability to inflict pain out of malice or pleasure, or to kill painlessly out of compassion. With that said, this assumes that there is a distinct ability to choose whether to inflict pain or not. If native peoples, islanders or such, do not have the choice as to whether they can eat in a manner that causes no pain to the prey, or do not have a functional concept of the creature’s ability to feel and interpret pain, they do not have the ability to choose, and cannot be condemned as “cruel and barbaric”, nor can they be cited as “noble and humane”. They are simply eating.

    The other potential option, which you could consider to be truly altruistic, is to intentionally starve and isolate one’s self, so that you do not cause harm to anything. Eventually, you will die, and your carcass will feed other organisms. Or you could purposefully feed yourself to another animal, and thus, not commit cruelty. But then you’re tempting and eliciting cruel actions onto another creature, and is that not cruel in and of itself? Besides, how many infants and children could make this choice, they would need to eat to grow and understand this concept, and cannot communicate to their mothers while they are gestating to not eat, as the fetus does not wish to take part in killing.

  48. “I hate to violate Godwin’s Law, but it’s this kind of moral absolutism that caused and allowed the second world war.”

    OTOH, I once met a moral relativist who couldn’t bring himself to call the Holocaust a bad thing to do (since the Nazis who committed the murders thought it was the right thing to so). I wonder if he would go to the police and press charges if anyone ever raped him, or just say what he suffered must have been Ok since the rapist thought raping him was the right thing to do.

  49. As far as Humans having the Right to animals I have 2 points.
    If your Christian Jesus instructs Peter in Acts 10:13 and 11:17 to “Kill and Eat” all creatures so it can’t be a God issue

    Second, if You dont believe in the whole God scene and you are more of an evolutionist, then its survival of the fittest, hence eating animals, the lest fit.

    Its cool if you dont wanna eat meat for whatever reason, but God and science seem to back up eating animals.

  50. I’ve had some fresh raw octopus w/ sesame oil sauce before in korea and they were delicious. I had it when i was like 12 yrs old while living in korea. Never had it since. But it was one of the most interesting and “fun” food experience ever. The small pieces would stick on to the chopstick and sometimes i’d get unlucky and they’d stick onto my teeth and etc. It was quite a battle eating these suckers. our group basically ate the whole octopus either raw like that or in a stew or many other assortments of delicious dishes. i mean this is basically the same concept as sushi and sashimi. its about as fresh as it gets and willing to bet its really great for your body too nutrition wise.

    and to those ignorant malnourished veggie people out there. im fine with you guys choosing to not eat meat and whatever but you dont gotta disrespect other cultures and especially their food just because it’s a little dissimilar to your own. calling it barbaric is totally uncalled for. if you consider THAT to be barbaric then what do you call all the crazy ass things people do to EACH OTHER every day around the world? ie War in Iraq, Darfur etc lets apply some scope and scale here.
    also somebody said something about people not having the balls to confront their meat and whatever. well… we can’t all be butchers this isn’t the stone age. welcome to the 21st century.

  51. How many of you here are Americans?

    Really? To those “bleeding heart liberals” and whiners, thanks for

    1) trying to impose your arbitrary and hypocritical moral conventions on another culture

    2) whining about whether *octopi* suffer while you didn’t do much about your government killing. torturing and maiming *humans* like Iraqis, Afghanistanis, Iranians, Vietnamese, Koreans and practically everyone else in the world except for the French you seem to hate. Also, does unleashing David Hasselhoff and jeans falling off asses on the world not considered cruelty as well?

  52. That was the most disgusting thing i have ever seen. Do you know any other animals that do that?

  53. Pingback: danychouinard.net
  54. Oh, my. I can’t believe the number of stupid people around here, worrying about *octopi* of all things. I mean, honestly, you people only care about these kind of things when they’re brought to your attention. The rest of the time? you ignorantly go on about your lives, paying no thought to such things.

    “Do you know any other animals that do that?” As a matter of fact, I’ve had several pet cats that would chase around mice for upwards of half an hour before actually attacking and eating the little buggers. They weren’t acting on instinct; they were /amusing/ themselves. Two cats will not sit four feet apart with a mouse between them, chasing it back into the center every time it tried to escape, out of /instinct/. Of course, this is all opinion, so feel free to disagree.

    Honestly, though? That video was rather neat. If I didn’t have to worry about them latching onto something in my throat, I’d definitely try some of this.

  55. @ The Admiral – “The other potential option, which you could consider to be truly altruistic, is to intentionally starve and isolate one’s self, so that you do not cause harm to anything. Eventually, you will die, and your carcass will feed other organisms. Or you could purposefully feed yourself to another animal, and thus, not commit cruelty. But then you’re tempting and eliciting cruel actions onto another creature, and is that not cruel in and of itself? Besides, how many infants and children could make this choice, they would need to eat to grow and understand this concept, and cannot communicate to their mothers while they are gestating to not eat, as the fetus does not wish to take part in killing”

    Get a fuckin life dick weed

  56. Yikes! I actually want to try them out. I’ve obviously had octopus here in Japan, but they weren’t that fresh. Live tentacles are about as fresh as you can get, I’d say. I’m not sure if this beats my worst: an entire sparrow (except the feathers). I mean, raw octopus would basically taste the same as this, but it wouldn’t be moving. Now I really want to try it out and compare…

    As for the previous discussion, I don’t want to really get involved, but I will say this: eating any kind of meat can be compared to eating this dish. The only difference is that we aren’t reminded that it was once alive every time we bite into a hamburger.

  57. Either one eats them..for pleasure…or u dont..there is no inbetween…either way they die..with more pain, less pain, suddenly, in hot boiling water, in your stomach bile…they die..and when anything dies..it hurts..

  58. And arent we an insensitive bunch…? just to satitate ur palate…?? what sort of mentality is this?? just makes me think? i can understand the concept of “survival of the fittest”..people in greenland have no choice but to eat the seals..but where one has the option…why to shed blood unecessarily..uncivilised lot.

  59. gold-hyip.vel4.com is an investment system designed specifically for online investors. To make it easier for you and to reduce administrative expenses, we use the so-called e-currencies (also referred to as digital currencies or electronic payment systems) in our operations.

  60. guys guys whats all this chaos about?
    who said that watching these octopus tentacles squirm on a plate was entertainment?
    asians value freshness in food
    just look at the majority of americans
    they eat food with fat, grease, all that
    okay so what americans think asian food is nasty?
    what if i say that asians think american food is nasty?
    what are you gonna say about that?
    are we, humans, not also animals?
    dont animals eat other animals in this world?
    if you dont believe so because we are more “high level”
    then just go to mars where you can make your own laws and culture
    what is a higher level of animal in this world?
    just because we’re smarter and more humane doesnt mean we cant eat other animals
    you dont have to worry about the number of octopi dying
    or the number of cows, sheeps, chicken, all those other animals we eat dying
    if you, the vegetarians, think that humans can do better
    then just think about the wars that take place
    how many people dying then? do you believe that one man can make a difference?
    well look at how many differences being made are being subtracted because humans kill humans

  61. Pingback: Fame | hilpers
  62. a lion kills a zebra because thats in its nature.. humans have a brain to think and understand.. survival of the fittest is a totally dumb argument.. its like saying if a rich man gets drunk and drives a car and accidently kills someone and then bribes his way off , he is not guilty.. jus coz he was superior to the poor man he killed?? if u think u can kill animals just coz u are superior then y not humans also.. u might think even eating a featus or human flesh is fun..

  63. Ok here’s my view, I have been facinated with octopus for my whole life of 18 years, they’re my favorite animal, as well as my favorite dish. When it come to cruelty I say octopus can grow they’re arms back and can lose them if they latch onto a rock in a strong current so the pain is bearable for them. I really want to find a place that serves live octopus in new York for the experience of it. I say we should our political, religious and moral Objections to ourselves and say that food is food and no matter how served or prepared, will remain as such. In conclusion I will apologize on behalf of America for a superior government, David Hasslehoff and worst of all The movie ” He’s Not That Into You.” one of those things I hope never stops……no not the Hoff.

  64. I just ate this meal in Korea — it’s one of those things you have to do before you leave. 🙂 The taste is bland, but the chili pepper is great and it’s definitely the freshest food you’ll ever eat.

  65. There’s a lot of cruel shits in this world—as can be seen by many of these posts here. Cruel and stupid shits—cruelty is a form of stupidity. …People being too stupid to “know right from wrong” as concerns treatment of others…of other people, or of other species.

Comments are closed.