The Striped Shocktopus is a member of the Cnidaria Mollusca phylum. The Cnidaria Mollusca phylum is a rare classification, as there have only been seven recorded sightings of the species. The Striped Shocktopus has 16 tentacles, each one stretching to approximately eight feet in length. Each tentacle carries a powerful shock that the Shocktopus uses to stun its prey before consuming the food through its 16 mouths located at in the middle of each tentacle. Very little is known about the elusive Shocktopus’s mating tendencies but scientist speculate that it may be similar to the Octopoda genus, due to the reported drastic changes in color of the tentacles when interacting with other creatures.
The Striped Shocktopus inhabits the deep trenches of the world, most notably the Mariana’s Trench (the deepest known point in the ocean). This is the largest of all the Cnidaria Mollusca’s, reaching an estimated 200 pounds. Since there is so little known about the Shocktopus a life span for the invertebrate is not yet known. Scientist theorize that it could be similar to other invertebrates such as the Octopus, Squid, or Jellyfish.
The Striped Shocktopus earned its name from Japanese fishermen in the early 1800’s, when fisherman reported seeing an extremely large, brightly colored Octopus like creature floating at the surface of the water. The Emperor of Japan sent fleets of ships to try and capture the highly coveted prize, but never was successful. The last recorded attempt to capture the creature was done so over the Mariana’s trench, there was a huge storm that appeared on the horizon (as the legend goes) and quickly overwhelmed the fleet of ships. Only two of the five ships made it back to Japan, leaving three ships for the trench and Shocktopus to devour. Because of the failed attempts and freak storms that surrounded the Striped Shocktopus, it is believed that it is the guardian of the unusually deep and treacherous trench.