The octopus is a persistent trope in persuasive cartography
The British Octopus - England in the North Indian Ocean - Cornell University Library Digital Collections: Persuasive Maps: PJ Mode Collection
This map from a French publication shows the aggressive reach of the British Imperial “octopus” on the Arabian peninsula and the horn of Africa in 1905. One tentacle stretches toward the British colony in the Sudan and the British presence in Aden (administered as part of British India) and its offshore islands, Perim and Socotora. Another touches the horn of Africa (labeled “à l’Angl.”) at the site of the protectorate then known as British Somaliland. Two other tentacles reach up either side of the Persian Gulf, one toward the British protectorate of Kuwait and the other toward Bagdad, still under Ottoman rule. This map appeared in the French weekly “Journal des Voyages - Aventures de Terre et de Mer,” a magazine featuring a mix of factual stories on travel and exploration with fictional and fantasy accounts, all heavily illustrated.