Scientists Discover Ghost-like Octopod: Nickname it ‘Casper’

A Ghost-like Octopod was caught on camera by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, according to BBC report dated March 7, 2016.

Depths of around 4000 meters northeast of Necker Island in the Hawaiian Archipelago were explored by the first operational dive of Okeanos Explorer’s 2016 season.

The primary aim of the dive was obtaining information whether there exists a connection between Necker Ridge and Necker Island, an exclusive feature extending from 400 miles and protruding past the current EEZ of the United States.

As the ROV traversed a flat area wherein the rock was interspersed with sediment at around 4,290 meters; it came across a small octopod that sat on a flat rock dusted with some coat of sediment.

The animal’s appearance didn’t match any published record and was considered to be the deepest observation ever for this kind of cephalopod.

Deep-sea Octopods are separated easily into two groups; 1) Incirrate octopods that lack cirri and fins and 2) dumbo octopods that have fins on the sides of their bodies.

The octopod that was imaged in detail in this dive belonged to the incirrates group and had suckers in one arm.

It was unusual because it didn’t have pigment cells named chromatophores and didn’t seem muscular.

Thus, appeared as a ghost, with a social media comment that it must be called as a Casper.

The primary objective was collecting geological samples on the ridge for determining whether they have the same composition as those of the samples that were collected previously near the Necker Island.

Additionally, biological communities in the area were surveyed by the Deep Discoverer, the remotely operated vehicle.