Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 25th, 2009
The 1998 octopus / Matoya Bay.
It is very rare in nature to find octopuses with extra tentacles, but in December 1998, a common octopus was captured in Matoya Bay, Japan, which had a whopping 96 tentacles.
The unusual octopus had the normal 8 appendages attached to the body, but each one of those branched out to form the extra tentacles. The specimen survived for five months after its capture, and even laid eggs, which hatched into normal 8 tentacled octopi. Upon its death, the 96-tentacled octopus was preserved and now remains on permanent display at the Shima Marineland Aquarium in Shima, Japan.
This was not the first instance of an over-tentacled octopus specimen being displayed in Japan.
In 1957, an octopus with 85 tentacles was caught at Toshijima Island in Japan. It was put on display at the Toba Aquarium in Toba, Japan, where it became quite famous before being loaned to the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo.
After that, it went back to Toba Aquarium where it remained on permanent display until it was put in storage in 1985 when the aquarium was moved to another location.
The Toba Aquarium has on many occasions displayed extra tentacled octopuses, both preserved specimens and some that were living for a time, as well.
The original 1957 specimen is occasionally put out on temporary display even now.
It is thought that these extra tentacles could form due to an abnormality in the regeneration process of a missing appendage, however whether this is the actual cause remains unverified.
Anyone for sushi? Brent Swancer
The 1957 octopus / Toshijima Island.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.