Wild Fact #653 – One Arm Short – Seven-Arm Octopus

Photo from Wikicommons

Has anyone else noticed how fast the week goes when you have the Monday off?  I really can’t believe that it is already Wednesday.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining but it sure is going by quick.  As a special treat to celebrate this fast moving week, we are going to head to the deep depths of the ocean.  Okay, you got me, we were going to the ocean today even if the week was going slow.  I want to take all of you on this ocean adventure to learn about the largest recorded Octopus on our planet.  Interested?  Well, grab your scuba gear and lets go learn about the Seven-Arm Octopus.

As mentioned the Seven-Arm Octopus is said to be the largest octopus species roaming the ocean.  Some folks believe the North Pacific Giant Octopus is capable of growing larger than the 4 meter (12′) long, 75 kg (165 lb) Seven-Arm Octopus that was documented.  Either way, the Seven-Arm Octopus is one huge creature.  This is good since it shouldn’t be too difficult for us to spot them on our scuba trip.

If you are anything like me, you are probably wondering how an octopus, which receives its name from their eight arms, only have seven arms?  Well, this particular species was called the Seven-Arm Octopus since the males modified arm used in egg fertilization (called the hectocotylus) is actually coiled in a sac beneath the right eye.  When you look at how much gelatinous material these creatures possess it is very easy to overlook this eighth arm. As a result, you get the Seven-Arm Octopus, but in reality these guys actually do have the full eight arms.  It is a good thing otherwise they would be known as a Septopus.

Seven-Arm Octopus Fast Fact – The record holding Octopus was caught in 2002 off the coast of New Zealand and weighed 61 kg.  Unfortunately, this was an incomplete specimen and they estimated it to weight 75 kg and measure 4 m long.  Not only was this the biggest octopus ever caught but it was also the first Seven-Arm Octopus species caught in the South Pacific.  I just love it when an Octopuses hard work pays off and they end up making a name for themselves.

That does it for Wednesday’s deep water Wild Fact.  I hope you enjoyed our scuba adventure.

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