Skip to content

Octopuses Are Urbanists, Too

Scientists were surprised to find that this smart and solitary species had built a cephalopod city. Why?
Mayor of Octopus City?
Mayor of Octopus City?Tobias Schwarz/Reuters

Despite his name, Squidward Q. Tentacles—the grouchy neighbor of SpongeBob SquarePants in Nickelodeon’s long-running cartoon—isn’t a squid. He’s an octopus. (Allegedly, creator Stephen Hillenburg named him Squidward because “Octoward” sounded too weird.) On the show, Squidward lives inside a moai head at 122 Conch Street, next door to SpongeBob’s pineapple, in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom.

A sarcastic loner, he tries to avoid the relentlessly chipper sponge and his other neighbor, the slow-witted starfish Patrick, by staying in, drinking tea, and practicing the clarinet. You know what they say: An octopus’s moai is his castle.