Beloved Giant Octopus Dies in Arizona Aquarium Months After Laying Thousands of Eggs

by Lauren Boisvert
(Photo by Cavan Images/Getty Images)

A giant Pacific octopus named Tako recently died at OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale, Arizona. Her death comes about four months after she laid thousands of eggs at the aquarium. According to OdySea Aquarium, Tako was a beloved fixture there.

“Tako was gentle, loving, and unique; she created special bonds with everyone who cared for her at OdySea Aquarium,” said Dave Peranteau, the aquarium’s director of animal care, in a Facebook post. “She touched many hearts, and we will feel her indelible mark for a long time to come.”

According to the aquarium, Tako was going through senescence, an octopus’ end-of-life cycle. Senescence for a female octopus begins with her laying the rest of her eggs, up to thousands of them that look like rice grains. Additional signs include weakened appetite and dull coloration. The end-of-life process can take from five months to a year. Tako laid the rest of her eggs in June, and died on Oct. 18.

In August, the aquarium was closely monitoring Tako. They said that she was beginning to lose sight, and her coloration changed from “bright pinkish-red to a subtle hue.” She still had her appetite then, but preferred interacting with people she shared a strong bond with at the aquarium.

According to aquarium spokesperson Karin Gallo, who spoke with The State, Tako was the first giant Pacific octopus to lay eggs in an exhibit. She laid her eggs around her aquarium enclosure, but none of them hatched because she didn’t have a companion. Tako’s age is unknown, but she lived at OdySea Aquarium since Sept. 2020. She may have been between three and four years old. Giant Pacific octopi usually live between three and five years, according to the aquarium.

From Giant Pacific to Tiny Blue Baby Octopus: Watch This Tiny Fluorescent Creature Crawl On a Person’s Hand

Recently we shared a video of a tiny, fluorescent blue baby octopus crawling on someone’s hand, and we’re still in awe of the contrasts among marine life. In the video, courtesy of Weird Animals on Twitter, a blue baby octopus slithers and crawls across a person’s hand. It has almost jelly-like tentacles which are basically transparent. It’s blue all over, with giant jewel-like blue eyeballs sticking out from its head.

It looks completely alien, but it lives right here in our oceans. A lot of things that live right here in our oceans look completely alien, actually. We’re not totally sure what species of octopus this is, but it’s definitely interesting. And adorable. Honestly, it’s adorable. We just hope it doesn’t grow up into a blue-ringed octopus, as those are decidedly much less adorable and much more poisonous than this one.