March 5 is the anniversary of the day in 1963 the Hula Hoop was patented.


The toy of that name actually became famous a few years earlier – we’ll come back to that in a moment – and using hoops as a toy goes back basically forever.

They haven’t always been for spinning by shaking yourself in just the right way, though.

In years gone by, people used sticks to spin the hoops.

Or they just threw stuff at a rolling hoop to see if they could hit it.

But hoop dancing, as it used to be known, was also popular, especially as part of exercise programs in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The story goes that the founders of Wham-O toy company, Richard Knerr and Arthur “Spud” Melin, heard about Australian children who danced with bamboo hoops, and they decided to make a plastic version.

They gave it the now-familiar name “hula hoop” because the movements people made to get the hoop spinning were supposed to look like Polynesian hula dancing.

They sold tens of millions of hoops after it was first released, many more in the decades since.

And when you have a new iconic toy you have people attempting to set world records with that toy.

The record for most hula hoops spun simultaneously: 200, set by Marawa Ibrahim in 2015.

I’m just catching up on the results of the Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition.

The Best In Show image came after a photographer, Gaetano Dario Gargiulo, went into a tide pool, and put his camera near an octopus, which then came out of its den and started taking selfies!

Dongratulations to the world’s first octopus influencer!

How Hula Hoops Work (HowStuffWorks)

Octopus steals camera and wins underwater photography competition (SCUBA News)

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Hula hoop photo by Victoria Pickering via Flickr/Creative Commons