Schmidt Ocean Institute’s underwater robot SuBastian made two rare sightings of a glass octopus, a nearly transparent species whose only opaque features are its optic nerve, eyeballs and digestive tract.
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Marine scientists aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel Falkor have identified likely new marine species and deep-sea organisms on nine seamounts that were explored for the first time in the remote Phoenix Islands Archipelago. In a 34-day expedition that ended on Thursday 8 July, scientists also conducted high-resolution seafloor mapping of more than 30,000 square kilometers and video exploration of five additional seamounts. During the expedition, scientists made two rare sightings of a glass octopus, a nearly transparent species whose only visible features are its optic nerve, eyeballs and digestive tract. Before this expedition, there has been limited live footage of the glass octopus, forcing scientists to learn about the animal by studying specimens found in the gut contents of predators.
Marine biologists spotted the elusive glass octopus (Vitreledonella richardi) during a 34-day expedition off the remote Phoenix Islands, an archipelago located more than 3,200 miles (5,100 kilometers) northeast of Sydney, Australia. Like other “glass” creatures, such as glass frogs and certain comb jellies, glass octopuses are almost completely transparent, with only their cylindrical eyes, optic nerve and digestive tract appearing opaque. (Image credit: Schmidt Ocean Institute) Source: LiveScience
The Schmidt Ocean Institute
The Schmidt Ocean Institute was established in 2009 by Eric and Wendy Schmidt to advance oceanographic research through the development of innovative technologies, open sharing of information, and broad communication about ocean health. It operates Falkor, a philanthropic research vessel that is made available to the international science community at no cost. For more information, visit www.schmidtocean.org Or follow them on Instagram
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