Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 5, 2021

Glass Octopus Video

from the Ocean Conservancy

The glass octopus (Vitreledonella richardi) is a very rarely seen cephalopod found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world. The species gets its name from its nearly-transparent body—you can see straight through to the optic nerve, eyes and digestive tract. These octopuses mostly live in the aphotic zone, meaning deep waters where sunlight doesn’t reach, at around 3,000 feet. They can grow to about 1.5 feet long and are estimated to live about 2-5 years.

The glass octopus lives in deep, hard-to-reach places, so there is much we don’t know about this translucent and luminescent cephalopod. So far, there have only been a few sightings and a few specimens recovered from the gut contents of their predators.

We now have new close-up footage of a glass octopus in the wild, thanks to a recent expedition in the U.S. Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. The Schmidt Ocean Institute led the 34-day trip that brought scientists together from around the world to document sea creatures on deep seamounts. They also used high-resolution mapping tools to map more than 11,500 square miles of sea floor.


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