The original live-action Dumbo!
This dumbo octopus (genus Grimpoteuthis) is named for its floppy “ears”—the tell-tale fins of cirrate octopuses, which also include flapjack octopuses (genus Opisthoteuthis). Our colleagues at MBARI are always discovering new species in the deep sea. And they’re always bringing better and better cameras into the depths to photograph and film the residents of Inner Space.
Early deep-sea researchers struggled to document their findings without access to high-quality video cameras—much of their information came from specimens pulled up in nets that were often damaged during collection. Gentle jellies, fragile fishes and sensitive squid lacked their true splendor pulled from the delicate deep.
Today, MBARI uses Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV’s) to explore the ocean’s depths and to study animals in their natural habitat. ROV’s Ventana and Doc Ricketts are outfitted with a range of high-definition video and still cameras inconceivable just a few decades ago. Photos like this—taken at 3,600 meters/11,800 feet—have allowed us to learn more than ever before about life in the deep: What do these animals really look like? What are they up to? What does it take to survive in an environment so unlike our terrestrial world?
This photo of a Dumbo proves that deep-sea exploration is flying high thanks to the engineers and scientists working tirelessly to bring to light these mysteries of the deep. 🐘🐙🌊❤️