How Long Do Octopus Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1 to 5 Years

More than 8 trillion species do exist on our earth. Most species out of them are not yet discovered. According to scientists, it may take more than 800 years to discover them. 

Among the discovered creatures, the octopus is a gigantic animal with multiple arms. It is an absolute aquatic animal.

Confronting the octopus in real is a rare event and can be a bit dangerous and fatal. 

The scientific name of any given octopus is Octopoda and, its order is Mollusca.

How Long Do Octopus Live

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How Long Do Octopus Live? 

The average lifespan of an octopus1 to 5 years
Time to hatch eggs2 to 10 months

Octopus lives in saltwater. They commonly reside in the coral reefs and ocean floor. They create dens where they live and that is why they are undetected in water. 

They also hide under rocks and small crevices. They blend themselves in the surrounding, so that even a well-trained eye may overcome one of them If not careful.

Even researchers after finding where octopuses live conclude that they live only for a small period at one place. Due to excessive pollution, the habitat of octopus is at high alert.

The area has a lot of toxic products, which is not suitable for them and their survival.

In those areas, they face problems finding enough food. Even for females, it’s unsafe to lay eggs. Like other organisms, they have the unique ability to protect themselves when they are threatened by predators. 

pink and orange jellyfish

They try to confuse predators by using demotic displays and camouflage. They can jet very fast in the water and know very well how to hide. The blue-ringed octopus can even kill human beings if it finds a threat. The defense mechanism is very spontaneous. 

Hunting down octopuses is a crime in many countries. Although captivating a fully grown octopus is itself a cumbersome task.

Octopuses feed on their preferred choices. They can dine on different fishes ranging from small ones to medium-sized sharks. This is how the aquatic food chain runs.     

Why Do Octopus Live That Long? 

Octopuses have a closed circulatory system, and blood remains inside blood vessels. They have three hearts; a systemic heart that circulates blood throughout the body and two bronchial hearts that pump it through each of two gills.

When the animals are swimming the systemic heart is inactive, thus it tires quickly and prefers to crawl. To transport oxygen, octopus’s blood contains copper-rich protein hemocyanin. 

In cold, hemolysin is better than hemoglobin because it can efficiently transport low oxygen throughout the octopus’s body. 

The lamella structure of the octopus gills allow for high oxygen uptake, nearly around 65% in water at 20-degree Celsius. 

Octopuses have a relatively short lifespan and some species among them live for as little as six months. The giant pacific octopus, one of the largest species of octopus, lives for around five years.


The lifespan of octopus is limited by reproduction, males can live for only a few months after mating. Females die shortly after the hatching of eggs. 

The huge pacific striped octopus is an exception because it can reproduce multiple times over two-year of its lifespan.

Their reproduction organ matures due to the hormonal influence in the optic glands, but it inactivates their digestive gland. This, in turn, causes the octopus to die from starvation. 

The life cycle of an octopus is a bit weird but this is the way how it works. This can not be changed no matter what. 


They are capable of living in different temperatures inside the water surface. The species which are living in a warmer area are relatively smaller than the species living in a colder area. 

These animals play an important role in maintaining our environment. Sadly, nowadays due to water pollution, they suffer a lot. These animals do not last very well in captivity. They already have a short lifespan and being in captivity can create nervous system problems. 

Therefore, one must be aware of it and try to keep the water bodies clean. They are facing problems that lead to disturbance in the whole environmental chain.



Last Updated : 23 February, 2024

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