Cool things you can see when the water level recedes


Did they find that one of the Five Chinese Brothers?


As a child and as an adult, I’ve always loved tide pools, there are always cool animals to be found, whether it’s the coast of North Wales or more tropical climes…

One of my most vivid memories is of a particular bay in northern Spain, in a town called Llanes iirc, where the tide receeds to reveal a rock with a tunnel which can be walked through to come out of the other side while wading through 0.5m of water, with all kinds of shrimp and fish wandering about around your feet.

One time, further out in the bay on a particularly low tide, a young Sapnish boy entertained a load of us fishing for something with a chunk of fish tied to some bale string… he was obviously determined to catch whetever it was he was after, and so drew what amounted to a small crowd. Eventually he felt a tug and started to pull the chunk back to the surface, to reveal a sizeable octopus which was wrapping it’s tentacles up the rope, and once he grabbed it, all over the boy’s arm. The noise and sight of the suckered tentacles being pulled of his arm only for another two or three tentacles to grab him will never leave me.

Sadly, and much to my (and some others) dismay, he then proceeded to reach inside the beautiful cephalopod, wrench it inside out and beat it several times on the rocks. He then left it for dead.

That made me sad.

I’ll always return my “catch”, especially if I found anything as impressive as that.


Recede, not receed.

Abandoned/drowned towns at the bottoms of reservoirs would be high on my list of things which match that headline.

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The plural of octopus is octopodes. Octopuses is wrong because that’s pluralizing a Greek word with English and the same goes for octopi because that’s pluralizing it with Latin.

Technically yes. Practically, both are accepted by some dictionaries.Websearch “octopus plural” for infinite repetition of the same arguments and admission that this horse has well and truly flown the coop. (Yes, deliberate.)

(1) It’s an English word, not a Greek word. We use regular English plurals for all kinds of words that have foreign derivations. Like “derivations” and “plurals,” both of which are Latin words in exactly the same way that “octopus” is a Greek word. But we don’t use either “plurales” or “derivationes”–which would be the correct Latin nominative plurals. We instead use regular English plurals, because they’re clear and clearly understandable–and because we’re speaking English, not Latin.

(2) It came into English by way of Latin from Greek–which is why it’s spelled “octopus” instead of “octopous” or “oktopous,” both of which would be more accurate transliterations of οκτωπους (with some accents that I’m too lazy to render). So the Latin plural is about as correct as the Greek plural–i.e., not very.

Thus spake the classical languages major. Go forth and sin no more.


There’s that confounded bridge!


A century ago some linguists were horrified by words that combined greek and latin roots, like “Automobile.” Obviously it should be “ipsosmobile” or “autokineticon.”

Only they’re english words, not just greek or latin, and common usage over a long stretch of time trumps historical origin. Unless you plan to speak like Chaucer, or the characters in Beowulf.

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I believe the correct spelling is Octopussy.


Am I the only one missing more pictures there? All there is to see is pretty much a sea anemone, of which I am familiar with. Oh well.
But I can testify to the fun stuff one can see in low tide, I used to go some rock formation nearby, washed by the Atlantic. Half of it was submerged in high tide, but when it was really low a whole new area opened up for the intrepid little explorer, and the booty was considerable!

Urchins, starfish, little cute crabs and huge ones, all the rocks completely covered in barnacles (the expensive edible ones no less), little transparent shrimp that I thought were adorable, those damn anemones that made it scary to walk barefooted, but came in a variety of bright colors like green or bright red, and a variety of little schools of fish that mindlessly followed the rhythm of the waves.
That place gave me my first lesson about what life really meant. Not only because I was almost crushed by the waves one day I was way too careless (imagine trying to walk and the water instantly pulls away your footing like an invisible rope), but at some point I collected a bunch of rocky sea fauna and boxed it to show in class, and then I clearly saw what dying meant. I learned my lesson of course.

As an addendum, it was interesting to see how sea life was more than meets the eye. Not only I had a premium look of their biology, but after a few hours, all the seemingly plain and empty rocks and algae I collected in the box started showing little things like wormy things and possibly larvae that were hiding somewhere in there.
And then they all died horribly with the stench of dead fish. It was an epiphany at an age where I was too young to understand what dying was. Not at the level of “granny died”, but at seeing how life fades away with my own eyes, and that there is a thing such as “fucking up”.


So was this bridge collapsed and sunken or was the water level much lower 400 years ago? Which makes for interesting on the conservation efforts. I recently learned of the Salton Sea efforts and learning how it was formed by us screwing with the environment in the first place and now we want to save the thing as it reverts back to the desert it originally was. Humans are odd.

I live in So. Cal. and will go to see what I can see at the tidepools. If I take any good pics I will upload them here :slight_smile:


Just for the record, no. Should octopi be accepted, it will be as a plural invented in our language.

Changing the ending -us to -i is a rule that only applies to some Latin words, and in this case the Latin plural appears to have been octopodes as well. In fact generic names are always formally Latin, so that’s why that plural appears in older English books, not transliteration of Greek ὀκτώποδες - which simply means eight-foots; it seems hard to tell if that was really used as a name for the animal beforehand.

@mcsnee is of course right, the word has been imported into English and so it is fine to use an English plural. I just thought I should add the common claim that “octopi would be preferred if the word were Latin but it’s not” is also wrong on both accounts. Because seeing the mistaken correction has gotten annoying too.

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So THAT’S where they dumped Jimmy Hoffa. . . . . (grin)

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