Does the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus Exist?

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The Pacific Northwest tree octopus is a fictional creature created by Lyle Zapato in 1998. Since then, it has become famous and is used by teachers to educate children about fact checking and Internet literacy.

According to the website created by Zapato, the Pacific Northwest tree octopus lives on the Olympic Peninsula and spends most of its time in trees, where it uses its eight arms to swing from branch to branch. It is supposedly critically endangered due to logging and deforestation. The website that launched the hoax is detailed and seems scientific, but a small amount of research shows that it is fake.