Just when you think Hawaii is out of ecological surprises, someone finds a deep ocean octopus that is very likely to be a new species. As with the new algae species discoveries that we blogged about recently, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is involved in this discovery as well. Earlier this year, their ship, the Okeanos Explorer, was out on a mission to collect geological samples when its remotely operated vehicle (ROV) discovered a really cute white octopus.
An enthusiast on social media suggested that the octopus be named Casper because its white, partially transparent appearance is a bit ghostlike. The diminutive but charming creature has gotten a lot of attention recently, and is just one more exciting find that NOAA has shared from its ROV’s explorations over the years.
The octopus was discovered at a depth of over 2.6 miles (4.3 kilometers) to the northeast of Necker Island (Mokumanamana) in the Hawaiian archipelago. As the ROV was cruising over a flat area of rock and sediment, it happened upon the white octopus, just sitting on the bottom, dusted in a fine layer of sediment.
NOAA scientists noted that the octopod was very different from any other species among the published records. Among its unique physical features are its lack of pigment and the single series of suckers on its arms as opposed to the usual two. It is also the deepest-dwelling finless octopod ever found.
Once again, Hawaii’s biodiversity has proven to be seemingly boundless. That’s why we’re so lucky to invite guests aboard our Maui ocean activity tours, like our Lanai and Molokini Snorkeling Tours. Everyone who is interested in the marine life of Hawaii should be able to see it for themselves. We hope you won’t pass up that opportunity, should it arise. And as always, if you need our assistance booking your adventure, you’ll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo!