A Deep Sea-cret unlocked 4000m under the sea – The astoundingly cute Ghost Octopus
The deepest layers of the sea have always seemed enigmatic and eerie to the mankind ever since man first came across the sea. Centuries later, the situation seems pretty much unaltered as the humans still have countless sea related secrets to unlock and mysteries to resolve.Unlocking one of the secrets here for you – the ghost octopus!
1 An Amazing Discovery
Recently, one of those secrets was unlocked with the discovery of a ghostly octopod off the Hawaiian Archipelago, which is group of 132 islands, shoals and reefs that cover surface area of about 1,523 kilometers across the Tropic of Cancer. This ghost octopus is currently a topic of hot discussion across the internet.
2 What made the Discovery Possible?
What made this amazing ‘ghostly’ discovery possible was the Okeanos Explorer, which happens to be a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ship which can go into the deepest ends of the ocean. During its first dive into the sea of this season it saw something amazing. There was an involvement of a remotely operated vehicle known as the Deep Discover, which basically found this octopus sitting on a rock. The discovery was actually made a depth of 4,290 meters.
3 What the Zoologists have to say?
Michael Vecchione, who happens to be an NOAA zoologist at the Smithsonian Institution, was overjoyed at the turn of events when he got to see the video that was being live-streamed by the Explorer. Vecchione further elaborated how the sighting of a ghost octopus has never been achieved as a scientific discovery and how excited he was to be a part of this brilliant turn of events.
4 Specialties of the Ghost Octopus
Vecchione is of the opinion that this pale new addition to the scientific literature is probably a new species that must have evolved over the years.
Apart from being a new species, the ghost octopus has another specialty; which has to do with the fact that it belongs to a category of marine invertebrates which do not possess fins. Deep sea dwelling octopods are mainly divided into two groups- the cirrate; which are the finned octopuses, who also go by the name ‘dumbo’ octopods, and the incirrate octopods who lack fins. Our ghostly friend belongs to the incirrate category.
Because of the ghostly and somewhat cartoonish appearance of this octopus,social media users are kind of pushing to name it as ‘Casper’, the friendly cute ghost of the 1995 movie ‘Casper’.
5 Features of the Ghost Octopus
Despite the live feed of the Explorer being a short one, many features of this rare creature were identified by the team. The team members could spot out various attributes of the octopod that would help it to adapt to deep sea dwelling. Here are some of the features:
- The octopus is of the gelatinous consistency and do not possess many muscles.
- Its pale, ghostly appearance is due to the absence of pigment cells known as chromatophores which are common in deep sea creatures.
- Most probably, it will also be capable of sighting bioluminescent animals, though the team members are not very sure about this.
- The suckers on its body are arranged in one series as opposed to two, which are normally visible on most octopuses.
- According to NOAA, the octopus is almost certainly an un-described species which may not belong to any described genus.
- The ghost octopus is a way of nature telling us that we are yet to discover a lot and learn even more. It is a symbol of the abundance of the ocean and how little we still know. Hopefully the Explorer will soon make many more cool discoveries. Let’s watch out for more!