Ghostlike Octopus Species Discovered in Deep Water Off Hawaii

Posted on March 6, 2016

Ghostlike Octopus species discovered off Hawaii coast

A new ghostlike octopus species was discovered in the deep water off Hawaii by the Okeanos Explorer. The researchers say the octopod is "almost certainly an undescribed species and may not belong to any yet-described genus."

The Okeanos Explorer ROV was being used to explore the northeast side of Necker Island. This is where the octopus was encountered. The octopus was found sitting on a flat rock dusted with a light coat of sediment. It was found at a a depth of 4,290 meters which is the deepest observation of an icirrate octopod. Incirrate octopods lack the finds and fingerlike cirri of cirrate octopods.

Michael Vecchione for the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service says in a blog post, "After seeing this observation, I contacted my colleagues Louise Allcock (currently on a British ship near Antarctica) and Uwe Piatkowski (from Germany) and they agreed that this is something unusual and is a depth record for the incirrate octopods. We are now considering combining this observation with some other very deep incirrate observations by a German cruise in the eastern Pacific into a manuscript for publication in the scientific literature."

Here is the video footage taken of the octopus:

Photo: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Hohonu Moana 2016

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