Ghostly Grimpoteuthis Octopus Glides By ROV Hercules
At first this ghostly octopus drifted past the camera on ROV Hercules flapping wing-like fins, then inverted its webbed arms, ballooning out to reveal eight rows of suckers. This rarely-seen Grimpoteuthis sp., commonly known as an umbrella octopus, was approximately 60cm (almost two feet) long!
The octopus was spotted during the first dive of the expedition aboard E/V Nautilus exploring Davidson Seamount, in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. This first dive explored a completely unexplored rocky outcropping to the southeast of the seamount, a region known as an oasis in the deep with vast coral and sponge fields.
The main objective of this expedition is to characterize an unexplored, deep-water region of basaltic rocky reef that resides southeast of Davidson Seamount, within the borders of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) to characterize habitat, species, and communities. Although extensive previous ROV dives have occured on the seamount proper, there is deep rocky habitat southeast of the seamount that could harbor additional communities of corals and sponges.