A “glass octopus” sighted by marine scientists in the Pacific Ocean

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An almost completely transparent “glass octopus” was sighted in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in June by marine scientists aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel, the Falkor.

The rarely seen cephalopod is relatively small, measuring up to 18 inches long, including its tentacles, with a coat length of 4.3 inches.

It was sighted on June 26 nearly half a mile deep around a reef complex in the Phoenix Islands archipelago, located in the central Pacific Ocean.

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“The live broadcast of the dives gives us a glimpse of rarely seen and fascinating creatures such as the clear glass octopus,” Dr Jyotika Virmani, said the executive director of the Schmidt Ocean Institute.

“By providing this platform to deepen understanding of our ocean, we trigger the imagination while helping to advance scientific knowledge and the protection of our underwater world.”

The glass octopus is almost completely translucent in addition to its optic nerve, eyeballs, and digestive tract.
(Schmidt Ocean Institute)

This deep-sea star, Evopolsoma, has been spotted eating living coral at a depth of 2004 meters near the Phoenix Islands archipelago.

This deep-sea star, Evopolsoma, has been spotted eating living coral at a depth of 2004 meters near the Phoenix Islands archipelago.
(Schmidt Ocean Institute)

While the glass octopus is rarely seen in the wild, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature ranks it among the species of least concern due to populations living in tropical and subtropical waters around the world, according to the Schmidt. Ocean Institute.

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Researchers also filmed various deep-sea coral communities, a whale shark, crabs stealing fish, a starfish eating live coral and other marine life during the 34-day expedition that mapped more of 30,000 square kilometers of seabed.


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