Normally the words “deep sea,” “new species,” and “ghost” would make for a terrifying horror movie premise, but this time they are just in reference to a newly discovered octopus that is actually quite adorable.
Scientists aboard the Okeanos Explorer, a ship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), just recently discovered a never-before-seen octopod, using a remotely operated vehicle in the deep sea waters off the coast of Hawaii’s Necker Island.
They only captured a short video of the creature slowly moving, but as National Geographic notes, there’s a whole lot to be excited about. Not only is this the first octopod to ever be discovered at such a depth (nearly 4.3 kilometers deep, or 2.6 miles), it seems as though it might be a totally new species, as well as “the deepest-dwelling octopod—a group of invertebrates that includes octopuses—without fins ever found.”
As for the creature’s features, they appear well-designed to survive in the deep ocean. It has a “gelatinous consistency” and a lack of muscles. With so little food that deep, it’s hard to have the energy to form them. It is also possible its “eyes may also help it see bioluminescent animals,” the kind that populate the seas at that depth.
As for that awesome, science-fiction like look, it’s a result of a lack of “pigment cells typical of most cephalopods, which gives it a ghost-like appearance.”
It’s a fact that the ocean is terrifying. It’s also a fact there is so much we don’t know about it and its many bizarre creatures. However, everything about this “ghost” octopus is great. He looks like some lonely mermaid’s best friend. I wonder if he’ll help us find Dory.
What does this awesome octopus remind you of? Swim into our comments section to let us know.
Image: National Geographic