for National Geographic News
February 12, 2003
Imagine if your spouse was 40,000 times heavier and a hundred times larger than you. This is reality for the male blanket octopus, which was recently spotted alive for the first time off Australia’s northern coast.
Australian and British marine biologists stumbled across the diminutive male octopus while scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. Divers spotted a male 2.4 centimeters (0.9 inches) long. By contrast, females of the species grow up to two meters (6.6 feet) long.