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National Zoo's Giant Octopus Needs A Name

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Unlike this giant octopus from the Seattle Aquarium, the as-yet-unnamed cephalopod at National Zoo is only the size of a grapefruit.
Unlike this giant octopus from the Seattle Aquarium, the as-yet-unnamed cephalopod at National Zoo is only the size of a grapefruit.

The National Zoo has a new giant octopus, and it's asking the public to help name it.

A recent video making the rounds online shows a reddish octopus walking on land. Other YouTube videos show octopi walking on two tentacles, fitting inside a beer bottle, and opening a jar of food. There are 80,000 videos related to octopuses. That's almost three times as many videos as Mitt Romney has. It's because octopi are weird and people love them.

The National Zoo's new Giant Pacific Octopus isn't a giant at all right now, it's about the size of a grapefruit. But it could grow to 14 feet from tentacle to tentacle in just a couple years. The zoo's recently deceased previous octopus, Octavius, passed away. She lived to a ripe old age of four, which is about how long giant octopi live. Her replacement has yet to be named, and the zoo is asking for suggestions. Curators describe the new octopus as "gregarious, feisty, and curious."

If you are between 5 and 15 years of age, you can e-mail suggestions for a name to the KidsPost until 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12.  You have to put the word “octopus” in the subject line and provide a compelling explanation -- no longer than 300 words -- for your choice.


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