Upon hatching, a baby octopus is referred to as "larva." After making their way to the ocean's surface, the larvae remain there for one to three months. They are defenseless at this point, and many become food for predators.
A female octopus lays 20,000 to 100,000 tiny eggs at a time inside a protective den. The process takes about two days. The eggs do not hatch for six to seven months. The mother octopus protects the eggs during this period, preventing the growth of fungi, bacteria and algae. As the larvae hatch, the mother propels them out of the den, and they head for the surface.