Creature Feature: The Casper Octopus | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Creature Feature: The Casper Octopus

The NOAA have discovered a ghostly new species of octopus, Ellen Daugherty reports.

Scientists at US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have discovered a previously unseen species of octopus, whilst exploring an unknown area of ocean around the Hawaiian islands. The strange little octopod was found at 4290 m underwater, and this is was unusual because an octopus of this kind has never been seen before at such depths.

Hawaii_Map

Map of the Hawaiian Islands, where the octopus was found

The octopus lacks any type of fin, which is usually seen in species living in these depths, so divers were extremely surprised when they stumbled across it. Whilst filming, a scientist on site said they had ‘never seen anything like this before’.

Its ghostly white colouring has excited the internet, and many have compared the octopus to Casper the Friendly Ghost...
Its ghostly white colouring has excited the internet, and many have compared the octopus to Casper the Friendly Ghost - and the resemblance is really quite uncanny. In addition to a complete lack of pigment, there are other morphological features that make this octopus stand out. On each arm there is just a single row of suckers (unusual in the Octopoda order), and the main body of this underwater critter lacks any muscle at all.

All of these unique traits have led to scientists believing that this in fact a new species of cephalopod molluscs. This wouldn't be unusual, as we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the surface of our own oceans… which is why so many our Creature Features are based around the weird and wonderful creatures found in the depths of the sea.

21 year old studying Biological Sciences, Science & Tech online editor. Especially interested in anything to do with zoology or anthropology, and an aspiration to be the next David Attenborough.



Published

28th March 2016 at 11:21 am



Images from

KSBW Action News and Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection



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