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.
Kelsey D. Atherton is a defense technology journalist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work on drones, lethal AI, and nuclear weapons has appeared in Slate, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and elsewhere.