'Ghostly Deep Sea Dumbo Octopus Delights Researchers with Wholesome Video'
Researchers at the Nautilus Live Ocean Exploration Trust captured footage of a dumbo octopus swimming in the deep ocean. The octopus's unique ear-like fins and connected arms resemble sea umbrellas. The team was gathering data on species distribution and seamount geology in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. These enigmatic creatures have been seen as deep as 7 kilometers under the waves.
Deep in the depths of the ocean lies a world full of surprises and wonders. The researchers at the Nautilus Live Ocean Exploration Trust have had the privilege of witnessing one such marvel - a dumbo octopus. This extraordinary encounter took place in the waters surrounding the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (PMNM) in the north Pacific Ocean, where the Corps of Exploration team was conducting their research.
At a staggering depth of 2,665 meters (8,743 feet), the team's remotely operated vehicle, Little Hercules, captured footage of the dumbo octopus gracefully swimming. As the video plays, you can hear the collective gasps of amazement from the researchers. The octopus, aptly named after the beloved Disney character Dumbo, showcases its unique ear-like fins, which resemble the iconic ears of the famous elephant. To fully appreciate the beauty of this creature, fast forward to 1:20 in the video for a complete view of its mesmerizing movements, or skip to 3:35 to see it against a striking black backdrop. The octopus's arms are connected by a delicate web of skin, creating a resemblance to sea umbrellas floating gracefully in the water.
While the researchers were thrilled by this encounter, their main objective was to gather valuable data on species distribution patterns and the geology of the seamount. The PMNM, the largest marine protected area in the United States, offers vast unexplored regions that hold the potential for significant discoveries, such as historic shipwrecks waiting to be carefully explored.
Interestingly, earlier this year, scientists were perplexed by the presence of octagon shapes on the seafloor. After thorough investigation, they discovered that these mysterious shapes were actually created by the dumbo octopus during its feeding habits. The octopus's unique arms were responsible for shaping these intriguing patterns, adding yet another layer of fascination to these enigmatic creatures.
It is worth noting that while this particular dumbo octopus was observed at a depth of 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) in 2020, these captivating members of the Grimpoteuthis genus have been spotted as deep as 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) beneath the waves. Their ability to thrive in such extreme conditions is truly remarkable.
No matter what these incredible creatures are doing or how deep they venture into the ocean, they never fail to evoke a sense of wonder and delight. Their presence serves as a reminder of the vast and mysterious world that lies beneath the surface, waiting to be explored and appreciated. So, the next time you find yourself pondering the mysteries of the deep, remember the dumbo octopus and the joy it brings to those who have the privilege of witnessing its graceful dance in the ocean's depths.