Giant Pacific Octopus

(Enteroctopus dofleini)

The Giant Pacific Octopus (or GPO to cephalopod enthusiasts) is well-named - it’s the biggest octopus in the world! It’s been known to reach 16 feet in length.

Despite its huge size, this species is skilled in stealth. It can camouflage itself just as well as its smaller relatives, blending into rocky reefs and sandy seafloors with no problem.

It's the largest octopus species with a total length ranging 3-5 m (9-16 ft) and a body weight greater than 180 kg (396 lbs). Its mantle alone is at least 600 mm (2 ft).


For such a large animal, it has a short life span: between 3-5 years.


E. dofleini ranges throughout the temperate coastal waters of the Pacific along California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Alaska, across the Aleutians to Russia, Japan, & Korean Peninsula.



The species is found in a variety of habitats. It typically inhabits rocky reefs or boulder areas with sand-shell substrate.

At the northern end of its range, it is often found in intertidal waters and can also be found in very deep waters (down to 1500 m or almost 5,000 ft!) at the southern end of its range.


The Giant Pacific Octopus has an orange to red-brown base color with fine irregular dark lines scattered over its dorsal surfaces.

Their skin is winkled into parallel ridges or folds and they can have four large papillae in a diamond arrangement on dorsal mantle.

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