Octopus robbed of valuable hoard

In a disturbing story, a Korean man fishing for octopus brought several aboard that were clinging to some pottery shards, which led to the discovery of rare 12th century Korean bowls left on the sea floor by a shipwreck.

No word on whether the guardian cephalopods were going to receive a cut of the loot, or even whether they were given a reprieve from being served up for dinner.


  1. says

    That is disturbing. I’ve been keeping six octopodes on staff for three months now and they’ve never brought up anything of value.

  2. NelC says

    Those are very nice-looking bowls, a very fine glaze, considering they’ve been on the bottom of the sea for 800 years.

  3. says

    Has it occurred to anyone that those might have been the cephalopod equivalents of creationists? Perhaps they were spreading the lie in the Octopus’ Garden that those pottery pieces were really mollusks. They destroyed those ancient relics for their silly superstitions. They don’t deserve a cut; they should be sharing a cell with Kent Hovind.


  4. GodlessHeathen says

    The octopuses themselves were the pirates, as all Pastafarians know, there is a correlation between number of pirates and global warming, so this is a real blow to the environment.

  5. says

    Pah, a disgrace to their species; they deserve to be calamarized. Any proper Tentacled Guardian of Ancient Treasure would have dragged the interloping fishermen screaming from their boat and strangled them. You just can’t get good help these days.

  6. says

    In Korea, there is a tradition of eating live octopus. I prefer a salad, with lemon and olive oil, oregano..mmmm..

  7. Sophist, FCD says

    ‘We arranged for an urgent exploration of the sea bed and although we did not find a ship down there, we were able to find 30 12th century bowls.

    ‘It seems that a ship carrying Koryo pottery was wrecked there…

    Far be it from me that I should dispell the romantic and adventurous notion of an ancient shipwreck, but isn’t it far more likely that a box of wares just fell over the side of the boat?

  8. LeeLeeOne says

    “Pharyngula”…aka Prof. Myers… if no on else sees it, which I am certain more than one blogger does, you have a heart of gold. Recognizing once history is lost (whether it be entwined in tentacles or a ship’s anchor), a piece of history is lost and/or open for misinterpretation (which loses humanity). I almost feel a funeral for what has been, and what can never be.

  9. PhilK says

    How come I own a plate for a week and after one run through the dishwasher it comes out chipped and scoured, yet if I’d chucked it into the sea 800 years ago it’d come out looking spanking new?

  10. Peter Ashby says

    Nobody has asked why the octopuses were clinging to the pottery shards. I propose that this fishing expedition has decimated a cephalopod tool using culture. Shame on them.

  11. NC Paul says

    I’m with #13 on this – isn’t it obvious that the reason why the “800 year old” bowls are so shiny is because they’re recent products of a sophisticated pottery making OCTOPUS CULTURE?

    Isn’t it?

  12. Scotty B says

    Actually GodlessHeathen (#6), if you had read the Gospel of the FSM more closely, it states that there is an inverse relationship beween number of pirates and global warming, so this actually bodes well for our environment.