🐙🐙🐙🐙🐙! While diving in the deep waters of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, researchers aboard the E/V Nautilus came across more than a THOUSAND octopuses! These octopuses – Muusoctopus robustus – were in a likely brooding posture. They were tucked into nooks in the seafloor with their arms inverted, covering their bodies and white egg clusters.
Yes, those white dots are all octopuses. Here’s a closer view of one of them:
(Isn’t she beautiful? That’s her siphon that she’s showing off. Octopuses squeeze water through their siphon to swim and steer. They also use their siphon to blow oxygen-rich water gently over their eggs.)
The octopuses were near shimmering fluid seeps, which were previously unknown to occur in this region. Near the octopuses, you can see sea anemones, sea snails, and other organisms. This dive was at about 3,000 meters (1.9 miles). We have footage of the octopuses for you, too:
The E/V Nautilus is currently in port to repair its ROV cable, but should be out at sea again soon! Find photos, videos, and information about the expedition here, and visit nautiluslive.org to watch the dives.
(GIF 1 description: Many white octopuses resting on the seafloor. GIF 2: An octopus rests on the seafloor and displays her siphon through her arms. GIFs/video credit: Ocean Exploration Trust/NOAA)