Does an eight-legged denizen lurk in these woods ? No, it doesn't. Image Credit: PD - Miguel.v
Back in 1998, Lyle Zapato launched a tongue-in-cheek campaign to save what he called the 'tree octopus'.
When it comes to cryptozoological creatures roaming Washington State's Olympic National Forest, what's the first thing that comes to mind ? Bigfoot, perhaps ?
Then what about the Pacific Northwest tree octopus ?
22 years ago, an online campaign was launched to raise awareness of the plight of this allegedly endangered cephalopod, which was assigned the scientific name Octopus Paxarbolis
The questionable campaign website claimed that the species spent the first part of its life in the water before emerging to make its home among the leaves and branches of the trees.
The site even included a section for people to report sightings of the elusive creature.
The entire thing was, unsurprisingly, a total hoax, however the website and the information on it proved so convincing that large numbers of people actually believed that the octopus was real.
Even today, there are those who remain convinced that the creature really exists.
In many ways the Pacific Northwest tree octopus serves as a reminder of how easy it is for false information to spread online - whether it be political claims or stories of strange creatures.
Given recent events, it's a lesson that is perhaps more important now than ever before.
Source: Only in Your State | Comments (9)
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