Why does the Spectre octopus only have 7 tentacles? I can't find any definitive answers online other than speculation that it has to do with the number of letters in the name and possibly being a connection to Bond's operative number 007. All decent theories but I didn't see anything in the movie that explained it and can't find any articles or interviews about it either.

EDIT: Clarification that I'm looking for an official answer with a source. Not more speculation.

  • If it has some deeper meaning, that meaning has not been revealed yet. That decision, if it was made, was made deliberately. Thus, if the logo has some hidden significance, it will remain hidden until the next installments are released, which won't happen for years. Until then, speculation could very well be all we have.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Nov 28, 2015 at 0:46
  • 5
    Clearly it's actually supposed to be a heptapus. Commented Nov 28, 2015 at 10:36

5 Answers 5


The answer is almost certainly related to aesthetics rather than any deeper meaning. The logo has been portrayed inconsistently throughout the Bond franchise, with the octopus starting out as a quadropus, then becoming a proper octopus, and most recently, being rendered a septopus. Many Bond fans argue that the original Dr. No/From Russia With Love design, with four "legs", was never supposed to be an octopus, and was intended to represent a ghost; according to these fans, the franchise mistakenly turned the ghost into an octopus in Thunderball. The image itself lends some credence to the idea that the original logo was a skull with ghostly trails below, but I haven't been able to find any canonical references to support it.

Note that in the new design:

  • The octopus is more stylized than was the case in the previous logo, more sinister, less cartoonish, and less obvious.

  • The octopus is drawn in such a way that it also resembles an actual spectre, or ghost.

  • The new design is sleeker, more modern, and combines the symmetry of the previous, eight-legged design, with the menace of the original design, which looked as much like a skull as it did a cephalopod.

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

Additional motivation to change the logo was introduced by the MCU, and its SPECTRE analogue, HYDRA:

enter image description here
SPECTRE left, HYDRA right

The film's producers would certainly want to avoid any confusion between the two logos.

Or perhaps the latest incarnation of SPECTRE is fond of the so called "Seven Armed Octopus", which gets its name from the fact that the specialized tentacle used in reproduction is kept hidden from sight in males of this species.

  • Again, looking for a source and not theories. But I appreciate the attempt to answer.
    – sanpaco
    Commented Nov 28, 2015 at 9:42
  • @JakeGould Especially if we consider that Sam Mendes already named The Dark Knight as a major influence for Skyfall.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 14:15
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    Evil organisation called SPECTRE with a logo that looks like a spectre? Nope, must be four-legged scull-headed octopus.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 13:21

It may be a rather mundane matter of aesthetics. An eight-tentacled version of the same insignia might have seemed too "busy" or "heavy," design-wise, to the moviemakers. An eight-tentacled version would also look like an octopus, whereas the seven-tentacled version suggests an octopus, and the moviemakers (or, if you like, SPECTRE's design staff) may have opted for the subtler, sneakier option.

  • 2
    Thanks for answering but I'm not looking for more speculation. I'm looking for an official reason either from the plot or given by one of the film makers. The opening credits make a specific point of showing Blofled with 7 tentacles coming over his back, which doesn't look aesthetical at all so there must be some other reason.
    – sanpaco
    Commented Nov 28, 2015 at 0:03

During the movie 'Spectre', there are 7 subordinates with one at the top. It worked for the movie. It may change over time in the future, to fit the needs of the series. The leader, the bad guy was caught not killed.


The actual reason is because drawing 8 instead of technically 6 and a body was more doable in a short time, and with 8 they couldn't really have a central one, so it boils down to easy of drawing it. sorry if you wanted a real 007 plot thickening answer, there isn't one P.S I cant give my name as i am an official source, Steve, Pinewood Art dept

  • 3
    Some sort of proof that you're an official source would improve your answer. I'm not saying you're making this up, but currently all we have is your word. Also, your "I can't give my name" remark seems odd given that your username is (presumably) your full name.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 23:25

I noticed a similarity between the reichsadler tunic ornaments on the Bust of Charlemagne and the Spectre Octopus. Trying to suss out a connection, I found your question.

enter image description here

Sorry, I suppose this is more speculation. That said, one could suppose that art direction could choose to echo nazi co-opting of heraldic motifs in order to give everyone the willies. Good art directors grok to dat iconography.

  • This is an interesting connection for sure.
    – sanpaco
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 21:13
  • Aren't those eagles? Commented Mar 11, 2022 at 12:09

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