Rare “glass octopus” discovered in the Pacific Ocean


An almost completely transparent “glass octopus” was sighted by marine scientists in the mid-Pacific in June while aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute research vessel Falkor.

Image of a glass octopus cut from a clip from the Schmidt Ocean Institute.

This rare cephalopod octopus is relatively small, measuring only 45cm long, including its tentacles.

Scientists saw it on June 26 at a depth of about 800m around a reef in the Phoenix Islands, located in the central Pacific Ocean.

Dr Jyotika Virmani, Executive Director of the Schmidt Ocean Institute, said: “The live streaming of diving trips gives us a glimpse of rare and fascinating creatures like this transparent glass octopus.” .

“By providing a technological platform to advance understanding of the oceans, we activate the imagination while helping to advance scientific understanding and protect our underwater world.”


The glass octopus’s body is almost translucent, clearly seeing the optic nerve, eyeball and digestive tract. (Photo: Schmidt Ocean Institute).

According to the Schmidt Ocean Institute, although the glass octopus is rarely seen in the wild, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed it as Least Concern due to its populations living in coastal areas. tropical and subtropical seas of the world.

The researchers also captured diverse deep-sea coral communities, a whale shark, crabs stealing each other’s fish, a starfish eating live coral and other marine life during the expedition. lasting 34 days with more than 30,000 square kilometers of seabed.


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