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Story of Edmond Boy and His Dying Octopus Steals World’s Hearts

Move over, Tetris kid! There’s a new Internet-famous Oklahoma boy – and his self-replicating dying octopus – in town.

Over the past six weeks, the story of Cal Clifford and his octopus Terrance has gone viral across the TikTok realm and become a bonafide national news story.

For example:

In case you’re unaware, this charming eight-tentacled tale spawned into existence after Cal lost his mind when his dad revealed – and also conveniently filmed and shared on the internet – the news that they could adopt an octopus and have it shipped to Oklahoma. 

Geeze. That kid really likes octopuses! In fact, I think he likes them more than my daughter likes rolly pollies, which is a lot! Let’s just hope Cal never learns about the charred octopus they serve at Rococo on N. Western. I’d hate to see that video! 

I guess Cal’s family decided to get an octopus and document how much stupid work goes into getting one. 

A few weeks later, a box arrived on their doorstep. Inside was an octopus named Terrance who – despite being cruelly and forcefully relocated thousands of miles away from his native ancestral home – seemed pretty cool with what went down. 

Terrance adapted to Oklahoma life pretty well. He was floating around his tank and seemed to enjoy all the viral attention, but after a couple of weeks, he started acting very anti-social. This was because Terrance – although identifying as a male – was actually a female and had laid a bunch of eggs:


Terrance had been acting strange. We didnt know what to do, but eventually we noticed an extremely sad sight. When a female lcctipus lays eggs, it signals the end of her lifespan. #octopus #marinebiology #shrimpdaddy #saltwateraquarium #fyp #cephalopod #petoctopus #aquarium #mom #octomom

♬ original sound - Nate Smith Country

After consulting with a variety of scientists and physicians – and thanks to Oklahoma’s archaic and restrictive abortion laws – Terrance’s human family decided to keep the immaculate collection of eggs that were somehow fertilized. 

Well, I think we finally have a good origin story for the Lake Thunderbird Octopus. If Cal doesn’t release some of the octopus eggs in that reservoir, and help turn an Oklahoma urban legend into a reality, there’s something wrong with the world.

Eventually, the eggs started hatching into baby octopuses. They were given names like Squid Cudi, Jay-Sea, and Sea-Yoncé, and the family started reaching out to science institutes and other octopus orphanages to see if they could take them in.

As the family became famous all across the world, several notable Oklahomans took note. 

El Snako, the famous python who survived for weeks on the run inside an Oklahoma trailer park, lauded the way Terrance has handled all the attention and spotlight:

“Terrance has served as an inspiration to all vertebrates and invertebrates who have had their lives uprooted and turned upside down by the human species. Thankfully, he hasn’t seen his reputation tarnished and been branded as a cat eater.”

Even though Terrance has a man's name, Oklahoma State School Superintendent Ryan Walters was tickled by her story.

“Ever since I tasted my first one as a child, I’ve always loved opossums. Now, thanks to the Clifford family, people from all over the world are becoming more familiar with Oklahoma’s marsupial. Or as I call it – ’the other gray meat.’ 

Sadly, it appears the story of Terrance has a bittersweet, Turner and Hooch-style ending. 

As highly intelligent creatures, octopuses have evolved to quickly die after having children. Sadly, it appears Terrance is soon going to be hanging out at the Rainbow Bridge:

That brings a tear to my eye, but I don’t think Terrance is going to complain. From being kidnapped as a child to being drop-shipped across the country, to having 50 offspring in a small aquarium in Edmond, to being given a man's name, she has experienced and accomplished more in the last few months of her life than most aquatic organisms do in a lifetime. 

I hope her last remaining days are peaceful and calm, and her offspring have their own virgin babies and expand the genetic line. 

Stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised.

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