To research books, films and articles, Sy Montgomery has been chased by an angry silverback gorilla in Zaire and bitten by a vampire bat in Costa Rica, worked in a pit crawling with 18,000 snakes in Manitoba and handled a wild tarantula in French Guiana. She has been deftly undressed by an orangutan in Borneo, hunted by a tiger in India, and swum with piranhas, electric eels and dolphins in the Amazon. She has searched the Altai Mountains of Mongolia’s Gobi for snow leopards, hiked into the trackless cloud forest of Papua New Guinea to radio collar tree kangaroos, and learned to SCUBA dive in order to commune with octopuses. We will touch on lots of Sy’s excellent adventures but will “go deeper” asking Sy to share with us highlights from her best-selling book, The Soul of an Octopus –  which  explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus-a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature-and the remarkable connections it makes with humans. This show made possible due to the generous support of  The Fairfax Companies.

(Personal comment from Mrs. Green – I would like to dedicate this show to my dear friend Rafe Sagarin, author of Learning from the Octopus. Rafe was a professor at the University of Arizona and was tragically killed  in Tucson, Arizona on May 28th, 2015. His legacy lives on in the hearts of many.)



  • Sy Montgomery: “Part Indiana Jones, part Emily Dickinson”
  • Sy is a true immersion journalist, committed to illuminating the true, complex nature of diverse forms of animal consciousness.
  • She never questioned “if it could be done by a person, it could be done by me”. Reminds us of this lesson by Maya Angelou: I A Human
  • The book, The Soul of an Octopus is a surprising exploration into the wonder of consciousness. It explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus – a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature – and the remarkable connections it makes with humans.
  • What is the scientific impact? Want a model for soft robots? Look at the octopus! They can multi-task like nobody – three fifths of their neurons are not in their brain, they are in their arms!
  • We must take care of our oceans or we will lose the knowledge, wisdom and insights that animals, like the octopus hold for us.
  • Children are the leaders for today and they have a tremendous amount of power – we must give them tools.
  • Courage comes in so many forms and calls on us to be our best selves.
  • Praising and protecting our world is the highest and best use of our lives!


Look around Sy’s Website
Read Sy’s book The Good Good Pig
Check out The Microactivist
This show is in honor of Rafe Sagarin – check out the fund in his honor
Listen to our past podcasts with Rafe: What You Can Learn from an Octopus and Focus On Our Future: Biosphere 2 Ocean Makeover