A 19-year old diver posted photos of himself holding the giant pacific octopus he legally caught–and they went viral. From what I’ve read, it seems like he was within his rights, but on the way out of the water, he ran into two other divers who were going to the area specifically to see giant pacific octopus. The wildfire of commentary also seems to be from people who enjoy visiting giant pacific octopi, and don’t want to see their tourism-objects killed, or dumped unrespectfully into the back of a pickup truck. This marks a fascinating instance where, as with dolphins but not pigs, intelligence in animals has been a primary motivator for bans against hunting. Once we mark certain animals as kin, even evolutionally convergent kin, it becomes taboo bordering on cannibalism to eat or mistreat them.