A rare creature candidly referred to as the "Dumbo octopus," was recently spotted by deep-sea divers swimming off the coast of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. According to KTLA, this uniquely shaped Cephalopod was found gliding one mile below the water's surface near the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
One of the divers aboard The Exploration Vessel Nautilus obtained video footage of the adorable octopus, which drew comparisons to the popular Disney film, "Dumbo" due to the large ear-like shape of its fins. Despite being funny-looking to some, these fins are actually a necessary adaptation that helps the octopus find food.
Jaina Galves, a video engineer intern present on the vessel, detailed the exact moment that the crew spotted the Dumbo octopus.
"Each time, you’re kind of just roaming around with the ROV. Somebody’s like, wait, what is that in the corner, and then everybody’s starts to gasp, everybody starts to freak out. And everybody’s like Dumbo octopus! So we take the ROV over, we go, and we follow them. They move very slowly and very gracefully, so we get to follow them for quite a while. It depends what we’re doing and how long we can hang out. But for one of them, we just got to stay for quite a while. Just watched it kind of glide through the water, and it was beautiful.”
Though it is typically rare to spot one of these creatures, KTLA mentioned that the crew saw five similar octopi that same day!