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Dumbo Octopus Footage Captured 8,000 Feet Below Ocean

Footage of a Dumbo Octopus
A ghostly footage of a Dumbo octopus captured underneath the ocean. Credit: Renaud.marbet / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Beneath the ocean’s surface, there are creatures that might send shivers down your spine. One of these intriguing creatures is the Dumbo octopus, scientifically known as  Grimpoteuthis.

Characterized by short, stout appendages extending from a wide, flowing mantle, prominent eyes, and distinctive, ear-like protrusions, the Dumbo octopus possesses the potential to serve as a captivating focal point within the confines of an aquarium.

However, it is essential to note that the transfer of such specimens to the surface is infeasible, given their vulnerability to disintegration under elevated temperatures, similar to gelatin.

Ghostly images of ‘Dumbo’ octopus captured beneath ocean

A livestream of a deep-sea expedition recently captured an intriguing and ghostly-looking footage of a rare “Dumbo” octopus. This marine animal was spotted during an E/V Nautilus video livestream conducted by the Ocean Exploration Trust.

The expedition involved deep-sea submersibles exploring the seafloor of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM), which is located in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and stands as the largest marine protected area in the United States, encompassing an expanse of over 1.5 million square kilometers.

The footage showcased the octopus entering the field of view of the Atalanta camera on the team’s remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

Moreover, this encounter occurred at a depth of approximately 5,518 feet (1,682 meters) below sea level within an unnamed seamount situated in the PMNM region.

As the creature appeared on the video feed, the navigators operating the submersible audibly expressed their astonishment with a collective “Wow!”

One researcher added, “I’m glad we got to see a live one.” Another one drew attention to the octopus’ “flappy ears.”

The researchers made observations about the octopus’s appearance, noting that it appeared “very white” in the video. They believed that this apparent whiteness might be attributed to the stark contrast produced by the intense illumination from their technological equipment.

The octopus was named after ‘Disney’s Dumbo’

The deep-sea octopus, characterized by its prominent ear-like fins extending from its head, earned its name “Dumbo” due to its resemblance to the Disney character, Dumbo the elephant, wrote People.

It was observed that this octopus seemed to utilize these distinctive fins for a gliding motion across the water.

During the observation, one of the researchers commented on the octopus’ movement, describing it as “so graceful,” particularly as it appeared to move with a deliberate and unhurried motion that resembled “slow motion” when viewed on camera.

Dumbo octopuses are recognized as the deepest-living among all known octopus species, with their habitat extending to depths of at least 13,100 feet (4,000 meters) beneath the ocean’s surface, as detailed in Oceana’s Marine Life Encyclopedia.

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