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Saguaro with 78 arms nicknamed 'Shiva' after god with multiple arms

Posted at 6:37 AM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 09:38:59-04

AVRA VALLEY, Ariz. (KGUN) — "It's a normal, large saguaro, well over a hundred years old."

William Peachy said he's studied saguaros since 1997, including a very unique one growing north of Tucson.

When ABC15 sister station KGUN 9 recently shared a photo of a saguaro taken by Sean Edwards and shared to the Arizona Photography Group, it caught the attention of Peachy and he reached out to share the backstory of "Shiva" the saguaro in Avra Valley with 78 arms. Its name references a Hindu god often depicted with many arms.

He said its arms have grown naturally.

FB Group saguaro.JPG

"Probably something to do with one of the hormones in the cactus that control that kind of stuff."

Shiva, Peachey said, is growing arms on arms.

"It's not rare to have an arm grow an arm, but it's not ever as common as this."

Peachey said despite its many arms, Shiva is a healthy and happy saguaro that could be around for a long time if it isn't disturbed.

"This could be going on for another hundred years or so, who knows."

Following the attention given to Shiva due to Sean's photo, viewers have shared photos of other many-armed saguaros they have seen in southern Arizona.

Saguaro with many arms
This photo of a saguaro with more arms than could be counted was seen at Upper Burnt Corral, near Apache Lake.
Saguaro with many arms
This saguaro with a multitude of arms was seen off highway 60 about 4 miles north of the Florence junction. The total number of arms upon arms is unknown.