Nine months feels like an eternity to welcome a bundle of joy, but could you imagine 4 ½ years? That was the reality for one female octopus, Graneledone boreopacifica, and it’s the longest known brooding period of any animal, reported biologists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in July.
In 2007, researchers spotted the octo-mom in deep, frigid waters off California’s coast. They returned 18 times, only to find the pale, famished mother right where they left her.
Researchers believe that when the brood finally hatched, the mother died — a typical fate for new octopus mothers.