What to Do When Your Girlfriend Is 70 Times Bigger Than You – Facts So Romantic

Out in the clear waters near the Great Barrier Reef, a common blanket octopus male swim toward a female. This male need not worry about showing his brightest colors or engaging in a showy battle of strength in hopes of winning the female’s permission to approach. In fact it’s unclear if the female even notices his approach at all.

You see, the male blanket octopus is less than an inch long. His object of affection? She often tops six feet. How can a male this small fertilize the eggs of a female that large? Therein lies one of the trickier sex acts in the natural world.

Most animals require close contact to reproduce, using either internal fertilization (as humans do) or fertilization nearby (think spawning salmon). So having a similarly matched body size is helpful for reasons of physical logistics—as well as for personal safety (as we’ll soon see). But for causes still obscure to most—except Evolution herself—in a very few, very distantly related animals, males and females long ago diverged to two radically different scales.

The blanket octopus (Tremoctopus violaceus) is one of a handful of animals that go to great lengths to overcome their partner’s…

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