Octopus chooses own name to chime with platinum jubilee

An Octopus in Great Yarmouth has named herself after the Queen to celebrate Platinum Jubilee

Elizabeth the octopus was in no doubt about what her name should be in the Queen's Platinum Jubilee year. - Credit: Sealife Centre

An octopus who was asked to choose her own name plumped straight for Elizabeth, chiming with the jubilee.

The creature was given two pots of food one labelled Elizabeth, and the other Octavia, and chose to eat from the one named after the Queen.

Her decision, made in her tank at Great Yarmouth's Sealife Centre, gives a regal ring to the now majestic mollusc's moniker - and to celebrate she has been handed a royal sceptre.

Centre manager Nathan Barnett said: "It is quite fitting because an octopus has blue blood and three hearts.

An octopus in Great Yarmouth has picked the name Elizabeth in line with Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Aquarist Leo Coucher of Great Yarmouth Sealife Centre with the two pots of food and name tags the octopus was asked to choose between. - Credit: Sealife Centre

"We let her decide by putting two identical pots of food in the tank.

"She went straight to Elizabeth and unscrewed the container. She did not even bother with Octavia.

"She then took the pot and the name tag into her little cave.

"From that point she has been known as Elizabeth."

An octopus in Great Yarmouth has picked the name Elizabeth in celebration of the Queen's platinum jubilee

Elizabeth the octopus with her royal sceptre celebrating the Queen's platinum jubilee. - Credit: Sealife Great Yarmouth

He said the animal care team at Sealife had needed some help deciding on a name and had reached out to fans on social media.

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The team then selected their two favourite names and allowed the octopus to choose.

"She must have known it was almost the Queen's Jubilee after selecting Elizabeth," he added.

Mr Barnett said the aquarium's previous resident octopus had died of old age in November.

Elizabeth was settling in well and was a highly intelligent creature who was popular with visitors, he said.

Already it was clear she had her favourites and could recognise individuals - always reaching out a tentacle to aquarist Leo Coucher and appearing to perk up when he went past.

To keep her occupied and active she is made to work for her food and given toys to play with.

"It is always exciting to have new arrivals to the aquarium and there is something special about Elizabeth the common octopus. 

"We will now have a fantastic story to tell our guests about our blue-blooded creature and why it's so special in line with the Queen's Platinum Jubilee."

Octopuses are molluscs coming from the same family as slugs, snails, cuttlefish, and squid.

Having no bones and the ability to change colour they make for cunning predators that are hard to evade.