Tuesday 8 March 2016

Ghostly new octopod species discovered by NOAA scientists near Hawaii

MARCH 5, 2016

by Chuck Bednar

Last month, during its first operational dive of 2016, the NOAA's Okeanos Explorer discovered a new octopus species that has been described as everything from an adorable cartoon character to a ghostly, Pokémon-like cephalopod, agency officials announced earlier this week.

Fhe Okeanos Explorer craft was exploring the waters off northeastern of Necker Island (Mokumanamana) in the Hawaiian Archipelago on February 27 as part of a deep dive to help determine whether or not there was a connection between the island and Necker Ridge, a narrow feature which extends more than 400 miles and protrudes beyond the current US exclusive economic zone.

In addition, its remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Deep Discoverer had been surveying biological communities at depths of nearly 4,300 meters, when it located the mysterious octopod resting on a flat rock lightly covered in sediment, the NOAA said. Its appearance was unlike any previously known cephalopod, and its discovery was the deepest that such a creature had ever been seen.

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