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name octopus

(Photos by Katie Cotterill, courtesy of Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium)

Tacoma octopus gets her new name; watch her here (video)

Local kids lent a hand (or 8?) to name the 8-legged creature.

The winning octopus name has been announced and it’s … Gertie!

The online voting for the new Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium cephalopod’s name closed late last night.

The name was chosen in honor of Galloping Gertie, the legendary octopus (perhaps the largest octopus in the world) who is said to live in the ruins of the collapsed Tacoma Narrows Bridge. 

You can check out Gertie in action here, and see the five other names that were considered for the eight-legged wonder below.

As reported on Aug. 17:

Name the octopus! Aquarists at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium have selected six names (yes, six) that might be suitable for their new eight-legged resident.

Voting is on until the end of the day on Aug. 23.

“She’s a very cautious octopus but she’s curious and brave, too,” says Mikiko, a PDZA aquarist.

“And she’s very strong yet gentle with her tentacles.”

Want to see the possible names? The choices are:


In honor of Galloping Gertie. It’s said that this is the name of an octopus — purportedly the largest in the world — who lives in the ruins of the collapsed Tacoma Narrows Bridge. 


In honor of the two Tacoma Narrows Bridges. 


Short for cephalopod, since she is one.


A female Latin name meaning “eighth.” 

Ms. 8:

Well, because of her eight legs. (Tentacles.) 


Because of the O, and because of the character in the William Shakespeare play  “Hamlet.” 


What name suits her best?

Octopus enthusiasts can cast votes on the naming until the end of the day on Monday, Aug. 23, on the zoo website.  

Visitors to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium can visit the still nameless octopus immediately in the Pacific Seas Aquarium.

The new name will be announced on Tuesday, Aug. 24.

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About the Author

Jillian O'Connor

Jillian O’Connor lives in Seattle with her husband, two sons and a dog named after the Loch Ness Monster.