In a rare incidence, a dumbo octopus is filmed swimming in the deep sea of Monterey Bay. What are some interesting things to know about the dumbo octopuses?
Marine scientists of the E/V Nautilus were fortunate to capture a rare sight when they spotted a dumbo octopus while they were on an expedition to survey the Davidson Seamount, an already extinct volcano in Monterey Bay.
The footage was shot by ROV Hercules’s high-resolution camera and clearly shows the ghost-like creature’s movements, especially the popular flapping fins on the sides of its head. In the video, the scientists’ excited expressions can be heard, and for good reason. Apart from the fact that Dumbo octopus sightings are rare, the location where it was found swimming was actually a previously unexplored location.
Interestingly, the location appears to be filled with octopuses, as the team discovered over a thousand brooding deep-sea octopuses just days after filming the Dumbo octopus.
Dumbo octopuses are so named because of their fins that look quite like ears similar to those of Dumbo the elephant. However, the term Dumbo octopus actually refers to an entire genus of deep-sea umbrella octopuses of at least 15 different species. They are called umbrella octopuses because of the web of skin that connects their arms and causes an umbrella-like shape when they swim.
Dumbo octopuses live in the deep sea at extreme depths of 13,100 feet or even deeper, making them the deepest living of all the known octopuses. As such, they are adapted to living in extreme conditions where there is no sunlight and the water is very cold.
These creatures are naturally rare and hardly seen or captured on film as they live in parts of the ocean where humans don’t typically explore. Because they live in such extreme depths, dumbo octopuses rarely get captured in fishing nets, so they are not considered threatened by human activities.