Engineering 101

Ocean-diving robot discovers a new ghost-like octopus

Thanks to technology and advances in robotics, a new kind of octopus has been discovered.

(Image Credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Hohonu Moana 2016)
(Image Credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Hohonu Moana 2016)

When researchers set out to explore the oceans northeast of Necker Island (Mokumanamana) in the Hawaiian Archipelago, they set out with the goal of finding out whether a connection exists between Necker Island and Necker Ridge, a narrow feature that extends over 400 miles and protrudes past the current exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the United States.

ROV Deep Discoverer stumbled upon the octopus. (Image Credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Hohonu Moana 2016)
ROV Deep Discoverer stumbled upon the octopus. (Image Credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Hohonu Moana 2016)

However, they stumbled upon much more using their remotely operated vehicle (ROV) caleld Deep Discoverer.

As the ROV was traversing a flat area of rock interspersed with sediment at 4,290 meters, it came across a little octopod sitting on a flat rock dusted with a light coat of sediment. The animal was unlike any published records and was the deepest observation ever for this type of cephalopod.

It’s ghostlike appearance, led some fans on social media to suggest that it be called Casper, like the friendly ghost. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “it is almost certainly an undescribed species and may not belong to any described genus.”

Learn more at the NOAA.

 

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