Giant Pacific Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) walking along the ocean floor in British Columbia

What Is The World’s Biggest Octopus?

The Giant Pacific Octopus is the largest octopus in the world! But there’s more to this cephalopod than its mass. On top of its impressive size, the Giant Pacific Octopus has a whole suite of superpowers.

Release the Kraken….?

Long ago, Scandinavian sailors used to tell stories of The Kraken, an octopus-like sea creature so massive that they could drag entire ships into the briny deep! Lucky for us, those legends of monstrous mollusks are just that, legends. 

But there might be some truth to the old tales! Enter the Giant Pacific Octopus – or as we like to call it, the GPO! While certainly not large enough to sink any boats (even small ones), the Giant Pacific Octopus is one of the largest octopus species in the world! 

By: John Roney

One Big Boy!

So how big IS the Giant Pacific octopus? Let’s take a look at its stats! 

The average GPO measures from 3 to 5 meters (that’s 9 to 16 feet for the Americans in the audience!), pretty much the length of a mid-size car. 

But they’re not just big, they’re HEAVY! The average GPO weighs in at 50 kilograms or 110 pounds, but they have been found to weigh more than 180 kilograms or 396 pounds! That’s more than a superheavyweight boxer! But don’t worry, chances are you won’t have to meet this octo in the ring. 

The GPO uses its incredible strength to pry open clams and crab shells. Imagine having muscles like The Rock but only ever using them to open pickle jars. That’s how the GPO rolls! 

Brains And Brawn

The GPO may be strong, but it’s no muscle head (though it IS mostly made up of muscles and a head). Like all octopuses, the Giant Pacific Octopus sports a big brain supported by eight smaller ones that can make micro-decisions like snagging prey while the larger brain focuses on more important tasks. 

giant pacific octopus

Nautical Ninja

Not only is the GPO super strong and super smart, but it’s also super stealthy! Like other octopuses, this octopus species can use special cells in its skin to change its color and texture. It uses this superb camouflaging ability to blend in with the environment so it can ambush prey. 

And while the GPO is big, it’s not at the top of the food chain, so becoming “invisible” can also be a great way to avoid predators like sharks and seals! Handy huh?

But Wait, There’s More! 

We’re always learning something new about octopuses! If you enjoyed this post, check out our blog to learn more Giant Pacific Octopus facts that will blow your mind! 

Giant Pacific Octopus

If you want to educate yourself some more about all sorts of different cephalopods, take a look at our encyclopedia. Or, what we call it, our Octopedia!

Connect with other octopus lovers via the OctoNation Facebook group,! Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with the conservation, education, and ongoing research of cephalopods.

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