Earlier this week, researchers from the University of Washington released pictures and a hi-definition video of a rarely seen white 'winged' octopus that looks more like a ghost from outer space, than the eight-armed cephalopod mollusk that we are all accustomed to.
The Grimpoteuthis bathynectes, also known as Dumbo octopus thanks to the ear-like fins that stick out from their bodies, can be found in almost every ocean. However, they are difficult to spot because they live at depths of more than 10,000 ft. (3,000m) below the surface of the water, where they seek out volcanically active areas and cluster around the hydrothermal vents that spew hot water.
Feeding off worms, bivalves, and other crustaceans that inhabit the bottom of the ocean floor, the octopus move around stealthily by pulsing their arms, waving their ear-like fins or shooting water through their funnels - Depending on the speed they want to achieve, they use each of these techniques individually, or all simultaneously.
Like most animals that live at such depths, the Dumbo octopus have no pigmentation, since there is no use for coloration in an environment where no light is able to penetrate. For that same reason, their eyesight is pretty limited and they can only spot bioluminescent flashes.
This specimen of the Dumbo octopus was spotted by a remotely piloted camera that had been submerged 6,600 feet (2,000m) into the ocean about 200 miles off the coast of Oregon. Hopefully, it will help scientists get some more insight about this elusive creature that eerily resembles the Boos in the Super Mario video game series.
Resources: wired.com, dailymail.co.uk, everythingoctopus.blogspot.com