Double Dumbo(!!) Octopus Sightings
Our exploration in and around Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument was extraordinary for many reasons but especially because scientists aboard E/V Nautilus were lucky enough to spot not one, but TWO dumbo octopuses. The team was delighted first by spotting a juvenile from the Cirroteuthid family. And later at 2160 meters, the team encountered a full-grown Grimpoteuthis sp. dumbo octopus nearly 1 meter wide who spent over 10 minutes around the ROV. These relatives are both cirrate octopuses, meaning they have strands of cilia-like cirri beside their suckers along their eight arms and modified fins that resemble floppy ears on their heads.
Learn more about this expedition in and around Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument funded by NOAA Ocean Exploration via the Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute.
The deep-water areas around Kingman Reef and Palmyra Atoll are within one of the largest marine protected areas in the world, the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (PRIMNM). Despite a growing number of expeditions to explore deep-sea environments of the PRIMNM, including a 2019 Nautilus expedition, many areas remain unexplored.