How long does it take to cook a perfectly soft-boiled egg?
I have a son who loves boiled eggs for breakfast, so I know for a fact that it takes exactly 6 minutes AFTER the water is already boiling. Common sense, right? You would think we’d all be able to estimate how long this task would take.
My son is 3 years old. This means I have to be incredibly efficient with my time in order to make him breakfast and still get to the office on-time and stain-free. If you asked me to estimate how long it would take me to boil an egg, serve it to him and clean up, I would estimate 20 minutes. And I would be wildly wrong. Sometimes it takes 20 minutes just to boil the water. Sometimes he’ll take his time to eat the egg. Sometimes he paints pictures on the table with it. Sometimes he wont eat it at all.
Do you know what my favorite animal is? The octopus. As a kid I was fascinated by anything that lived at the bottom of the sea, and anything that lived at the bottom of the sea and had eight arms was always going to command my attention.
I’m sure you’ve seen the many videos of Octopi doing incredible things? (cough cough) Using coconut shells as protective armor, changing color to blend into the scenery, working their way through man-made assault courses, opening jars to get to the contents and picking the winner of the world cup, their intelligence is clearly unmatched in the underwater kingdom.
What’s amazing, though, is that for an octopus, reproduction is fatal. Most male octopi live only a couple of months after mating and the mother octopi die soon after their eggs hatch. What this means is that each octopus learns everything for itself. An octopus was not taught how to open a jar, or use a coconut shell as armor or how to pick the winner of the world cup; every generation of octopi has had to learn these tricks for themselves.