Fighting octopus

In the 1960s, a new type of wrestling emerged in the coastal regions of the United States, which quickly gained frenzied popularity.

Wrestling with an octopus - this was the name of a new type of martial arts, in which a diver who grabbed an octopus at a shallow depth must pull it to the surface.

However, this sport originated several decades before, apparently from the entertainment of divers or fishermen. One of the earliest articles on the sport appeared in the 1949 issue of the American Mechanix Illustrated magazine.

And by the beginning of the 60s, they began to hold entire World Octopus Wrestling Championships, broadcasting them on television.

This is how the participants described the process of struggle:

Two things work for hunters. The first - the octopus is lonely, the second - we go to work in a team. First, one of us dives to a depth of about 50 feet (about 16-17 meters) and tries to pull the octopus out of the hole. When he runs out of air, the second member of the team comes to replace him, who intercepts the octopus and does not allow him to rest or escape. After 30 seconds, a third person comes to the rescue. They don't hurt the octopus, they just try to pull it out ...

Rewards were received by divers or diving teams with the largest animal. After the competition, the octopuses could be eaten, transferred to the local zoo, or returned to the sea.

So in April 1963, 111 divers took part in the world octopus fighting championship. On the day of the championship, 25 giant octopuses were caught, weighing between 4 and 57 pounds.

Here is what Time magazine wrote in 1965, documenting the growing popularity of octopus control:

Just diving is no longer enough and a sport like fighting octopus is becoming more and more fashionable, especially on the northwest coast, where the critters can grow up to 90 pounds and can be extremely uncomfortable. Although there is some technique for fighting octopus, real sport requires the diver to dispense with respirators.