Puget Sound is full of octopuses, they crave the rugged bottom and abundant food supply of clams, small fish, crabs, and other slimy stinky things on the sea floor. Maybe that’s why the Giant Pacific Octopus, which can weigh up to 120 pounds, is known as the largest octopus in the world and makes its home in the Pacific Northwest.
The Encyclopedia of Puget Sound website has this to say about the Giant Pacific Octopus.
“When fully extended from arm tip to arm tip, the Giant Pacific Octopus can measure an average of 16 feet long. It has a highly developed brain and acute vision. Although it is usually reddish-brown, the giant Pacific octopus is a master of camouflage and can quickly change its skin color and texture to match its surroundings.”
If 120 pounds and 16 feet long isn’t giant enough for you, imagine an octopus 5 times as big swimming at you. And, some believe a creature this size, weighing over 600 pounds, really exists – under the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State.
Why Do Large Octopus Live Under the Tacoma Narrows Bridge?
The sea floor beneath the current Narrows Bridge is the perfect habitat for Octopuses, as the bottom is littered with the enormous remains of the old Narrows Bridge nicknamed, “Galloping Gertie“, which collapsed and crumbled into the deep murky waters below during a windstorm in 1940. The large piles of cement and old bridge rigging 225 feet below the surface make the perfect hiding spot for an Octopus of this size.
What is the Legend of Tacoma’s “King Octopus” Living Under Tacoma Narrows Bridge?
Although there are no images or physical evidence of the beast, local Tacoma folklore says scuba divers in the area have recounted being harassed by an enormous creature with a reported 8 tentacles. The tale is so popular it was named one of the 11 wonders of Tacoma by local residents. It’s become somewhat of a mascot, it even has an IPA named after it at the Narrows Brewing Company.
Diving Under the Tacoma Narrows
Diving the deep depths directly under the bridge is rare and only reserved for those with advanced diving certificates. However, the shallow shorelines around the Tacoma Narrows are a favorite diving site for recreational diving, Titlow Beach is an example. I’ve experienced it myself and it was awesome.
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