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I’m a sucker for stylish ear protection.

Although I don’t mind all the buzzing and honking of the big city, there are times when it gets to be too much and I just want to shut it all out. That’s why a pair of earplugs can be a lifesaver for some splendid isolation.

But they tend to be boring affairs, available in monotone foam or silicon, so wouldn’t it be nice to add a little pizzazz to peace and quiet? Of course it would, so next time you reach for something to stick in your ear, make it an octopus tentacle.

Octopus Earplugs (Tako no Mimisen) are coming to capsule toy machines on 19 January and will be available in six types: raw octopus, boiled octopus, a small and round deep sea octopus known as a mendako, blue ringed octopus, squid arm, and an extra long squid tentacle measuring 14 centimeters (5.5 inches) in length.

For squid laypeople, a squid has two retracting appendages which can snag prey at a distance and bring it into the range of its remaining eight arms to finish the job. These two long parts are the true “tentacles” of a squid with the other limbs technically called “arms.” In fact, an octopus technically has “arms” rather than “tentacles” as well, but let’s not get too bogged down in cephalopod semantics.

▼ Some great shots of squid tentacles and arms working together

These earplugs are the creation of Genki Hirano, a glassmaker in Kitakami City, Iwate Prefecture. The original Octopus Earplugs were elegantly made of glass and became a viral sensation earlier this year. However, due to the independent nature of their production sale has been limited to the …continue reading