Oklahoma Boy’s Pet Octopus Surprises Family by Laying Eggs, Captivates TikTok Audience

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For as long as anyone could remember, the one heartfelt desire of nine-year-old Cal Clifford has been to have an octopus as a pet. The young boy’s fascination with the eight-legged sea creature began when he was nothing more than a toddler. In those early years, his family, residing on the outskirts of Edmond, Oklahoma, indulged him with toys in the shape of the aquatic creature. However, as the years rolled by, Cal’s fascination showed no signs of waning. Instead, it became crystal clear that nothing short of a real pet octopus would suffice.

The boy’s father, Cameron Clifford, a 36-year-old dentist, decided to indulge his son’s peculiar love for octopuses. He sought advice from a local aquarium store, and before long, Terrance, a California two-spot octopus, better known as a bimac, became a new addition to their family home, situated to the southwest of Oklahoma City.

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“It’s been an incredible journey, witnessing our son’s insatiable love for the natural world and marine biology,” said Cameron. He further added, “Nurturing our children’s interests and watching their dreams transform into reality; it’s a kind of magic that words can barely encapsulate.”

In essence, the family’s journey with Terrance soon morphed into a popular TikTok saga. Cameron, using the app’s feature to generate a faux British accent, narrated the entire tale, which garnered the intrigued attention of hundreds of thousands of followers.

However, a few weeks into their venture, they discovered an astonishing fact. Their beloved Terrance was a female, divulged by the surprising development of her laying a brood of 50 eggs, that they initially assumed were unfertilized. Much to everyone’s awe, weeks later, tiny, nearly invisible octopus babies started hatching. Cal, thrilled with the new members, named them with splendid creativity, christening them Rocket Larry, Squid Cudi, Swim Shady, Jay-Sea, and Sea-Yoncé.

Upon reminiscing the first moment Cal had heard about the prospect of getting his octopus from his father, Cameron recalled the dinner table scene where Cal had broken down into tears of joy. They had later spent valuable time together, researching, deciding to get a saltwater tank, a water cycling system, and working out how they would procure food for the soft-bodied marine creature.

The entire Clifford family, including the younger son Lyle, the mother Kari, and even a family friend who happened to be a reptile scientist, offered their valuable support and advice on this extraordinary journey. Despite the common occurrence of female octopuses dying after spawning eggs, Terrance is still alive and thriving after four months.

Cameron reflected on the priceless experience that owning Terrance has proved to be for his family. With his now-trademark british TikTok accent, he said, “This endeavor taught us about resilience and adaptability at each step. We learned to solve minor issues like sealing gaps to prevent gallons of seawater flooding our home, realized that electrical appliances and seawater don’t always make the best combo.”

“Over everything else, this journey taught us new things, led us to meet extraordinary people and deepened our appreciation for the magnificence of wildlife. But, perhaps, the most significant takeaway was learning to love Terrance, our not-so-little octopus.”