Halloween appears to have come deep under the waves early as researchers have discovered a rare ‘ghostly’ octopus.
A team of ocean researchers has discovered the rare ‘Dumbo’ octopus 1,682 meters below the surface, off the coast of Hawaii.
You can hear the crew of the remote-controlled Hercules vehicle calling out as the beautiful creature comes into view.
‘Oh wow!’ said one researcher, while another joked that the octopus had “flappy, flappy ears.”
The Dumbo Octopus gets its name from a striking resemblance to the 1941 cartoon character Dumbo the Elephant, with its two large ear-like fins protruding above its eyes.
Halloween appears to have come deep under the waves early as researchers have discovered a rare ‘ghostly’ octopus
The video made by the Ocean Exploration Trust shows the octopus flapping its ‘ears’ to propel itself through the water.
As the footage shows, Dumbo octopuses are also neutrally buoyant, allowing them to float quietly through the pitch black of the deep sea.
While this creature may seem bizarre to some, many commenters on social media found the friendly animal to be more adorable than creepy.
“Unbelievable!”, one excited commenter wrote, adding that they “wanted a big hug from this cute guy!”
“I could look at this octopus all day, what a beautiful creature,” said another, while a viewer added that the octopus was “shaped like a friend.”
At about 60 cm in length, the specimen on film is quite large for a species that is often no more than 20 to 30 cm in length.
However, this is just a small fry compared to the largest Dumbo octopus ever found, which was 6 feet long and weighed almost 13 pounds.
The Dumbo Octopus is the deepest diver of all octopuses and lives at depths between 1,000 and 7,000 meters. It is rare and uniquely adapted to the extreme living conditions at the bottom of the ocean.
Using their strong fins and eight-finned steering, these fascinating creatures can survive by eating the snails and worms they find on the ocean floor.
Because the internal cartilage supports their limbs, they are also well adapted to the enormous pressures found at these depths.
At 1500 meters below the waves, the pressure is almost 150x greater than on land, meaning that most marine animals simply cannot survive.
You can hear the crew of the remote-controlled Hercules vehicle calling out as the beautiful creature comes into view
The video made by the Ocean Exploration Trust shows the octopus flapping its ‘ears’ to propel itself through the water
The deepest sighting of a Dumbo octopus took place at over 7 kilometers in the Java Trench – that’s more than twenty times the height of the Shard in London.
Because animal life is spread far and wide across the vast oceans, Dumbo octopuses must also be prepared to travel for long periods of time without other octopuses, making finding a potential mate quite a challenge.
To get around these problems, female Dumbos constantly have eggs in various stages of development, like cars going through a production line, so they can be ready to mate and lay eggs when the opportunity arises.
Scientists also believe that male Dumbo octopuses store sperm in a special protrusion in one of their arms, which they can hand to a female to be kept until it is a good time to lay eggs.
‘Dumbo Octopus’ actually refers to a family of 17 different species of octopus, but there are more species of Dumbo Octopus to be discovered.
Just last year, a team of German scientists used MRI scans and DNA testing to identify a new species of Dumbo Octopus that had never before been described by science.
At such extreme depths, previously undiscovered species are common, so many more bizarre and eerie discoveries remain to be made.