Girl fears octopi

March 10, 2011 — by Ashwini Velchamy

Sophomore Maggy Liu blames nature shows for a phobia she once had of octopi.

“I couldn’t watch PBS shows that were on sea animals, because I didn’t like seeing the octopus,” said Liu. “I didn’t even like the sound of its suckers–the weird popping noise.”

She said that this fear began when she saw a nature show about an octopus. The footage showed an octopus killing a large fish.

“The octopus wrapped its tentacles around the fish, and the fish was flailing. And then there was a closeup of the octopus’s mouth—it was so gross!”

Although Liu has for the most part gotten over this fear of octopi, she still remembers some of the interesting experiences she faced because of her phobia.

Liu mentioned a time when she went out for dinner with her family, only to find that the restaurant had an enormous plaster octopus hanging over the waiting area. When she looked up, she saw the sprawling tentacles and the mouth of the octopus.

“It was so awful!” said Liu. “The suckers were all painted in super fine detail, and the mouth was a gross beak shape … I couldn’t eat any seafood that night, because I would automatically think of octopi killing fish with their tentacles.”

Liu said that she also used to harbor a fear of deep pools.

“I thought sharks would swim in from the gutters and kill me, ‘JAWS’ style,” said Liu. “Since I’m on the swim team now, though, that fear kind of went away, but I’m still scared of sharks.”

As for how her fears had influenced her, Liu said, “They haven’t affected me in a big way. I just didn’t like sushi bars that had octopus legs on display.”

4 views this week