NORTH PACIFIC OCEAN (KFOR/Storyful) — Scientists spotted a dumbo octopus swimming more than 5,500 feet below the surface in an area of the Pacific Ocean, where the species typically is not seen.
As seen in the video at the top of this story, using an expedition vessel, researchers spotted the small octopus in the “largely unexplored” northwestern section of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, located in the Hawaiian Islands.
Typically, the species is found in the Central Pacific, and can swim up to 13,000 feet below the surface, while searching for food on the ocean floor.
The dumbo octopus is an unusual-looking creature that propels itself with its “famous ear-shaped fins to find food, then gobble their prey up whole, feasting on a variety of deep sea critters such as copepods, isopods, bristle worms, and amphipods,” according to the Ocean Exploration Trust.
The expedition was funded by NOAA Ocean Exploration via the Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute.