Breaking away from the Bay Area, let's talk about Hawaii, yes? Specifically: A ghostly, possibly new species of octopus was recently discovered near our fiftieth state, found around 2.5 miles deep in the briny ocean off of Necker Island. It was uncovered by Deep Discoverer, an ROV (remotely operated vehicle) on February 27.
The little octopod looks adorable or utterly terrifying, depending on your view, but more on that later. First, let's read what Michael Vecchione, of NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service, had to say about the discovery:
"As the ROV was traversing a flat area of rock interspersed with sediment at 4,290 meters, it came across a remarkable little octopod sitting on a flat rock dusted with a light coat of sediment. The appearance of this animal was unlike any published records and was the deepest observation ever for this type of cephalopod."
Why, just look at this thing in action:
Vecchione goes on to note that, in addition to its depth, its appearance stood out too. He says:
"A distinctive characteristic was that the suckers were in one, rather than two, series on each arm. This animal was particularly unusual because it lacked the pigment cells, called chromatophores, typical of most cephalopods, and it did not seem very muscular. This resulted in a ghostlike appearance, leading to a comment on social media that it should be called Casper, like the friendly cartoon ghost. It is almost certainly an undescribed species and may not belong to any described genus."
Sounds delicious. But looks scary. Don't know about you, but octopi seem downright terrifying, these ink-blasting tarantulas of the sea. SFist's Eve Batey disagrees, saying, "It looks adorable!" Different strokes.
Some other animals that are considered cute, but should be feared:
- Ferret owners