Rare Footage Captures First-Ever Look at Mysterious Glass Octopus in Pacific Ocean

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A mysterious glass octopus is seen for the first time on rare footage taken in the Pacific Ocean.

The glass octopus, which is also known as Vitreledonella richardi, has been one of the most mysterious sea species for more than one hundred years. Not much is known about this ethereal creature other than the fact that it lives deep in the ocean in warm and tropical areas, mostly in the twilight zone and the midnight zone. In the past, scientists could only use specimens that were found in the stomachs of animals that ate other animals.

Researchers have finally caught live video of the glass octopus in the Pacific Ocean, after a month-long search. Scientists were able to film the glass octopus for the first time that was so clear, thanks to the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s trip. The experts were looking into seamounts in the Pacific Ocean, which is more than 30,000 square kilometres of ocean floor.

A glass octopus moving in the deep sea of the Central Pacific Ocean. (Image credit: Schmidt Ocean Institute)

Scientists from Boston University and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution were on the trip. The video was taken by an underwater robot called SuBastian, which was working from the research ship Falkor. The team came across the mysterious glass octopus twice during their journey.

Other creatures that look like glass, like some comb jellies and glass frogs, look a lot like the glass octopus. Its eyeballs, digestive system, and optic nerve are the only parts that are clear and can be seen through. The shape of its eyes has changed so that they don’t stand out much, which helps it hide.

Footage of glass octopuses is extremely rare. (Image credit: Schmidt Ocean Institute)

Along with the video of the glass octopus, the team also got the first video of a whale shark. They could also see other sea creatures acting in strange ways, like crabs stealing fish from other crabs. The study team did 21 expeditionary dives, which added up to 182 hours of exploring on the seabed and deep in the ocean.

Researchers got an amazing and rare look at the glass octopus and other strange creatures that live deep in the Pacific Ocean thanks to the live-streaming of the dives. Researchers can learn more about these animals and get ready to protect them in the future in their natural habitats with the help of the video images.

The executive director of the Schmidt Ocean Institute, Dr. Jyotika Virmani, says that marine scientists worked with local researchers and scientists to use high-resolution cameras to map the seabed and make a video exploration of five more seamounts. The centre was started by Eric Schmidt, who used to be CEO of Google, and his wife Wendy Schmidt.

Wendy Schmidt said that the ocean hides a lot more than we can think of or even find. She said that expeditions like these teach us that we need to do more to understand and fix the world’s oceans while they are still very complicated. Because life began in the ocean, learning more about the ocean and the animals that live in it is important for our health and well-being.

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