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Northwest Tree Octopus

The existence of the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus is still being hotly debated on the Internet, because they just seem so plausible. These creatures supposedly begin their lives like any other octopus, as an egg in the water. In this case, the eggs are in Hood Canal, off the Puget Sound. Shortly after hatching, the young octopuses leave the waters of the canal and make their way the forests of the Olympic Peninsula. Due to a combination of the moistness of the mountain air and a special adaptation of their skin, the octopuses can survive without being in the water.

Since the eye of the octopus is similar to that of a human eye, they can see well. They use their arms and suckers to climb from tree to tree, seeking prey such as insects, frogs, rodents and other small animals.

Because of their ability to change color and the texture of their skin, tree octopuses are hard to detect by human forest visitors. The octopuses return to the Puget Sound only to breed.

The skeptical reader usually does a double take when hearing this story and wants more facts. They can learn all about forest-dwelling octopuses on the website, “Save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus,” which includes several articles about cephalopods and links to bona fide websites on marine life.

But ultimately, skeptics will find the story just does not work. The woods are just not wet enough, and an octopus actually needs to be in water to move. However, the Tree Octopus is interesting urban legend and you can declare your desire to save at least the concept of them through the purchase of T-shirts, coffee cups and bumper stickers.

Weird Washington


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