Octopus Dreams – What Do They Mean?

5 Min Read | By Nicholas Barber

Last Modified 8 December 2022   First Added 10 December 2021

This article was written and reviewed in line with our editorial policy.

What Does It Mean To Dream Of An Octopus?

Octopus dreams aren‘t the most common type of dream, but anyone who has ever had one will be bound to wonder what it means. There are many different reasons that can lead you to dream about an octopus.

In this article, we take a deep dive into this subject and reveal some fascinating theories about octopus dream meanings and what their significance could be.

The Dream:

You’re swimming in the ocean under a warm tropical sun and having a lovely time paddling around, having loads of fun.

But all of a sudden you notice a large aquatic creature rising up from below and you start to feel apprehensive. What on earth is this thing?

A moment later a giant octopus emerges from the depths and starts wrapping several of its eight huge tentacles around your helpless form.

You splash around trying to fend it off but then in the next instant you wake up with a jump and reality hits you. It was only a dream.

Meaning(s) of the dream:

Famous psychoanalysts such as Freud and his disciple Jung have interpreted the meaning of dreaming of an octopus as being related to the fear of getting stuck in a relationship, or even great indecision in the face of the various possibilities.

Octopus dreams are often related to their dreamer‘s working environment. However, they may also be associated with their social and personal life.


Common takes on octopus dreams:

Whether you dream about eating an octopus, swimming with one, have a nightmare about being entangled in their tentacles, or just watching one swim in an aquarium, there are numerous beliefs on the meanings behind each.

Here, we explore some of the meanings of the most common octopus dreams:

Bad luck

In the arena of dream interpretation it’s commonly believed that if you dream about an octopus, it could represent some bad luck, and that someone may be preventing you from reaching your goals.

The belief is that such people will try to steer you off course in life and bring turbulence and chaos to your life.

You're feeling drained

If you’re ever unfortunate enough to have a nightmare about an octopus strangling you in your dreams, this symbolises feeling drained or being asked too much of by those close to you in your waking life. You may feel that you need to take a break from some of the people around you and to have some more time to devote to yourself.

Pressure from an influential person

Dreaming of a giant octopus can signify overt pressure from an influential or ruthless person in your life. This kind of dream can symbolise many occupations in your daily life and the overflow of which you are the victim.

It may be that you’ve accepted too much responsibility and you’re suffering today, having to divide and stretch your time between too many things at the same time.


Catching an octopus in a dream is commonly seen to be a positive omen. It’s said to be a sign that you’re nearing success, perhaps getting a promotion or passing an exam.

This dream may mean you’ll be successful in achieving your goals. It represents success, victory, progress, prosperity, fortune and good luck.

Additionally, this dream is a good indicator of financial benefits. You may receive a fortune from an unexpected source or be financially rewarded for something you’ve done.

Answering the dream:

When analysing your dreams it can be beneficial to be conscious of what impacts are likely coming in from your waking life. This could be important events in your future and influential people and it is very useful to know how to limit any effects.

For example, it’s well known that stress in your life can affect your quality of sleep and dreams. To help you achieve the best possible sleep see our guide to 10 Relaxation & Breathing Techniques and learn How Can You Sleep When You’re Stressed?

Notable appearances in popular culture:

The octopus holds a special place in the public imagination simply  because it’s such a weird and wonderful creature. There are many references to this peculiar animal in popular culture, most famously the classic pop song Octopus’s Garden by The Beatles, a very dreamy song loved by generations of kids and adults alike.

The octopus (and all cephalopods) often have negative connotations within popular culture which may link to why most dreams about octopi are actually nightmares.

A host of horror films play upon our instinctive revulsion of the creature, most notably 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and we see the prevalence of the closely-related Kraken across world cinema, most famously in Pirates of the Caribbean!

However, perhaps the most incredible thing we now know about the octopus is that while we dream about them, they may also be dreaming of us! Science has recently established that octopi are able to have dreams of their own – perhaps about living in an octopus’s garden in the shade!  What Octopus Dreams Tell Us About the Evolution of Sleep

For more, check out the meanings of another common dream about teeth falling out. Or, another embarrassing moment is dreaming of being naked

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