Ghostlike Octopus From the Deep Shocks Scientists

It's likely the deepest finless octopus ever seen and a brand new species
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2016 10:06 AM CST

(Newser) – NOAA scientists exploring the ocean depths off the coast of Hawaii may have just discovered a new species of octopus, and boy is it adorable. Gizmodo describes the tiny creature as something out of Pixar or Pokemon, while a NOAA blog post calls it ghostlike. But a scientist overheard on a video of the cephalopod may have summed it up best: "Beautiful." In addition to looking super cool, the creature is believed to be the deepest finless octopus ever seen, Forbes reports. NOAA's remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer was hunting for geologic samples on Feb. 27 when it spotted the octopus on a rock more than two-and-a-half miles below the surface.

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A NOAA zoologist tells National Geographic the octopus doesn't look like "anything that’s been documented in the scientific literature." It has a number of unusual traits, including a lack of muscle tone and color-changing pigments. It also has only one series of suckers instead of the typical two. "This animal is now confusing several of our shore-based scientists, who have never seen anything like this," a scientist can be overheard saying on the video of the octopus. NOAA believes the octopus is "almost certainly" a new species and possibly even a new genus. According to Forbes, the detailed video should help scientists name and classify it soon. Until then, we'll stick with the unofficial name given to it by the Internet: Casper. (Read more octopus stories.)

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