National Geographic : 1938 Sep
SEA FLOOR AQUARELLES FROM TONGAREVA © National Geographic Society Painted by Else Bostelmann under direction Roy W. Miner A GRUESOME, EIGHT-ARMED OCTOPUS SLIDES STEALTHILY FROM A CORAL CAVE Just below one of the protruding eyes is the siphon through which the creature squirts water to propel itself forward. On the sea floor crawls a spiny SEA STAR two feet in diameter. Its sixteen arms radiate in all directions, searching for mollusks and crabs. The long spines move on ball-and-socket joints. When stepped on, the spines break off in the foot, exuding poison. Natives, when stung, promptly turn the offender upside down with a stick, and place the wound against the sea star's mouth. Spines and poison are sucked out, and the wound soon heals.