'Dumbo' octopus filmed in Pacific Ocean

Credit Giphy  YouTube

Scientists exploring the sea floor off the coast of central California for deep-water coral and sponges instead found an unprecedented sight: Hundreds of octopuses tucked between rocks with their tentacles inverted and covering groups of white eggs - a posture that is common among brooding females.

"To find something like this in our sanctuary, let alone in the West Coast, is pretty mind blowing", said Chad King, a marine biologist with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and lead scientist for the expedition.

Mr King said he spotted the creature out of the corner of his eye as the team used its remotely operated underwater vehicle Hercules to explore on Tuesday.

He added that the Dumbo octopus "elated (everyone) in the control area".

Researchers came across an octopus that swam using its earlike fins. Most of the Dumbo Octopus species tend to be smaller than the one captured in this footage which was about 60 centimeters long.

King explained that while Dumbo octopuses aren't rare, it's rather unusual to see them.

The Ocean Exploration Trust's E/V Nautilus spotted the Grimpoteuthis gliding by its deep-sea camera in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, in California, on October 23.

Dumbo octopuses are so named due to their fins that look quite like ears similar to those of Dumbo the elephant.

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Nautilus' current expedition is scheduled to run through October 31, so they may share more footage of the Dumbo-like octopus.

The Dumbo octopus was roughly 58cm long.

"The fact that we encountered one is what is special", he told Fox News, adding that the footage could be useful for octopus experts.

Dumbo octopuses live in the deep sea at extreme depths of 13,100 feet or even deeper, making them the deepest living of all the known octopuses.

The rarely-seen octopus wasn't the only discovery they made.

Still, researchers witnessed another unbelievable find on the same dive.

"We ran into this incredible brooding, or collection, of a different species of octopus, all moms brooding their eggs", he shared.

It appeared to circle back towards the vessel, giving researchers "a show".


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