Dumbo-Like Octopus Spotted In The Ocean

James Marshall
November 2, 2018

The crew aboard the Ocean Exploration Trust's E/V (exploration vehicle) Nautilus spotted a cirrate octopod, Grimpoteuthis, commonly known as umbrella or dumbo octopus, gliding by the deep-sea camera in the depths of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in California, United States on October 23.

"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. However, the crew at E/V Nautilus was able to dive into these depths by using the remotely operated vehicles that operate underwater known as the ROV Hercules.

"Even though I'm a scientist, we're all kids out here", he admitted, adding the Dumbo octopus "delighted everyone".

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

The creature they saw was about 58cm and was gliding at nearly 3.3km deep, according to the Ocean Exploration Trust, a non-profit organisation that owns the Nautilus vessel. The vast majority of the Dumbo octopus species measure between 7.8 and 12 inches long, according to the aquarium.

The dumbo octopus gets its named from the wing-like appendages at the front of its head.

It was the first time scientists have seen a cluster of Muusoctopus robustus octopuses off California's coast, King said. However, the term Dumbo octopus actually refers to an entire genus of deep-sea umbrella octopuses of at least 15 different species.

The biggest Dumbo octopus ever measured was more than 1.8m. What are some interesting things to know about the dumbo octopuses?

It is reported that this number of octopuses no one noticed.

"We had to move because of the length of the cable and where the ship was", Mr King explained.

Mr King pointed out that Dumbo octopuses aren't rare, but it is unusual to see them in the wild as they are deep-sea creatures.

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

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

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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