If a space craft was built by a cephalopod race, what would it look like? The Cephalopods in question are not humanoid at all and look like large octopuses.

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    $\begingroup$ Hi! Welcome to Worldbuilding. Your question seems a bit broad since we would need to know what kind of cephalopods you're referring to and the general tech level available to them. Without more detailed constraints, your question will likely be put on hold as "too broad" or "opinion-based". I hope you add a few more details to your question so that it fits in with the rest of WB. $\endgroup$
    – Green
    Oct 29 '17 at 3:49
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    $\begingroup$ From the examples we have (Earth) any Cephalopod would be a marine creature, so the main point would be the craft would have a marine life support system. It is hard to see how a marine creature could develop advanced technology (e.g. try developing fire in an ocean). $\endgroup$
    – StephenG
    Oct 29 '17 at 5:16
  • $\begingroup$ C.f. the book Manifold: Time by Stephen Baxter, which has some squid being sent to Cruithne. Humans built the initial spaceship, but the squid take over and rebuild extensively once there, eventually taking off again. $\endgroup$ Oct 30 '17 at 1:17

Our earth cephalopods have two distinct branches, as described in this article. They are always aquatic, so your intelligent cephalopods would likely also be. Creatures on the Nautiloidea side have (often beautiful) external shells. On the other hand, the Coleoidea side are the ones who have the tentacles, which might serve as a replacement for hands with opposable thumbs.

Octopuses are the most intelligent invertebrates, having intelligence on par with cats (who I personally believe are smarter than they let on, but that's a tale for another day). This article was very informative, and leads me to believe that if an aquatic civilization were to ever arise on our planet, the octopuses would firmly lead the way (not dolphins or whales as we tend to believe).

An interesting fact about octopuses is that they are able to edit the messages sent from their DNA, and some scientist speculate that this ability directly contributes to their intelligence. This ability is limited to the Coleoideas (on our planet), but maybe not on the one where Octopuses became the dominant species.

Octopuses might have slithered to the top of their world's food chain by perfecting their ability to direct the evolution of their shelled cousins to provide tools, building materials and so on. This kind of deliberate tinkering would probably enhanced their ability to reason and could well have allowed them to achieve advanced civilization without ever harnessing fire or discovering the wheel.

So in this scenario, Octopuses would either engineer a gigantic nautilus (along with other types of shellfish, for inclusion in a spacecraft), or have engineered massive nautilus whose shells would be combined in some way to build the spacecraft.

To a species which is entirely nautical, their first "space" exploration would be of the world outside their oceanic home. I think that their awareness of actual space would only come to be after they leave the ocean in their first proto-spacecraft.

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    $\begingroup$ Quite right. Their first "space" exploration will be beyond their ocean habitat. A minor point but much appreciated. You called "octopuses" throughout, the correct English usage, and not the quite inaccurate "octopi". "Octopus" is not a Latin word. It's ancient Greek. The correct Greek plural is "octopodes." Full marks for correct word usage. Alas, I can only give you plus one for your answer. Well done. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Oct 29 '17 at 8:13

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