Happy World Octopus Day!

Did you know? Today is (the 10th annual) World Octopus Day!

Octopuses (yes, THAT is the correct plural of octopus) are cephalopods – a class name derived from the Greek word cephalopoda, meaning “head-feet.” These incredibly unique animals are characterized by their bilateral symmetry, a body shape that primarily includes a large head and set of arms or tentacles.

Out of the 800 identified living species of cephalopods, 300 of those species are octopuses! Here at the Aquarium, we have a giant Pacific octopus on exhibit. We spoke to Aquarist Katie Webster about what it’s like to care for it:

Octopuses are among the most intelligent species in the animal kingdom. In total, an octopus has 500 million neurons, located in both its brain and throughout its arms. In addition to grabbing onto prey and climbing rocky underwater structures, an octopus uses its suckers to taste and sense.

Check out this awesome infographic to learn even more about these incredible animals: 

national aquarium octopus infographic

13 Responses to “Happy World Octopus Day!”


  1. 1 Caitlin October 8, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Technically, Octopuses is correct if you’re living in Greece. To everyone else, they are actually Octopodes.

    • 3 Bill October 11, 2013 at 2:37 am

      Caitlin you have that backwards. octopus is a Greek work to pluralize it in Greek is octopodes, Latin octopi, English octopuses. All are acceptable pluralization’s of this word. For more info on why check out mirriam- webster.com ask the editor “octopuses or octopi.”

  2. 4 Illuminated Bliss October 8, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Octopuses are marvelous! Thank you so much for the OctoLove!

  3. 5 Darren Hedges October 9, 2013 at 7:10 am

    Absolutely love seeing an octopus when diving. Only seen half a dozen of them but they are fantastic. One of them was just happy to sit on my hand and just move about a bit, was a brilliant end to a red sea holiday.

  4. 6 John Jacobs October 9, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Recommend “Octopus, The Ocean’s Intelligent Invertebrate, A Natural History” by Mather, Anderson, & Wood 2010. You will learn a lot about these fascinating animals.


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