A Brief History Of Octopi Taking Over The World

In honor of the totally-not-evil logo for the National Reconnaissance Office's latest space mission.

Octopuses, octopi, octopodes: whatever plural form used, the surprisingly smart eight-tentacled underwater cephalopods are a popular symbol of something far-reaching and sinister, both on earth and, now, above it. The National Reconnaissance Office, tasked with watching the earth through largely classified satellite programs, recently launched a new rocket into space. That rocket’s classified contents were marked with an incredibly subtle image: an octopus spreading its tentacles across the globe, over the words “nothing is beyond our reach.” Charming! In honor of the “oct” in octopus, here are eight images featuring an octopus–and similarly limb-surplused creatures–straddling the globe.

Click here to enter the gallery.

For further reading beyond this gallery, Strange Maps has an amazing collection of maps featuring the “Cartographic Land Octopus,” and Vulgar Army is a whole site devoted to “the Octopus in Propaganda and Political Cartoons.”