A Ghastly Discovery

march92016

Actually “ghostly” might be a better word for this discovery, because this new species is anything but ghastly. In fact, it’s downright adorable! A remote-operated deep sea sub spotted this unusual octopus on the sea floor of the Hawaiian Archipelago at 4300 meters or 2.6 miles beneath the surface, and the scientists knew immediately that they had found something special. The octopus is almost certainly an entirely new species and is also the deepest-dwelling octopod with fins (deep sea octopi usually have small fins on their head like the dumbo octopus). It is also completely lacking in chromatophores, or the colored cells common in most octopi that allow them to change color, and it is a milky white color. The white coloring reminded twitter followers of “Casper the Friendly Ghost” which led to its nickname “Casper.” You can watch the explorer sub’s live feed here to see if you can spot any new species!

Want to learn more? Visit http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/03/160304-ghost-octopus-science-animals-oceans/

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