A new species of octopus has been discovered and scientists are gushing over it, agreeing that the aquatic creature is much too cute to be named anything other than “Adorabilis”.
You can’t really blame them for their excitement, as the octopus looks like a Pixar cartoon waiting to have its own movie written, then team up with the gang from Monsters Inc for a fun crossover that is bound to break box office records. Experts agree, as many have compared it either to characters from the video game Pac-Man, or to characters from the cartoon show Pokemon.
Officially speaking, the creature still doesn’t have a name, however scientists have also made a habit of referring to it as “flapjack”, a shout out to another cartoon show.
The little fellow has big, expressive eyes that you can expect to see in the Shrek movies when Puss in Boots wants to get one of the other characters to do something for him. It sports bright, orange skin, and has tentacles that look like a wavy dress cartoon girls used to wear in old animated movies. It’s about seven (7) inches long.
The octopus also has fins on its head, making it look like wearing horns.
The adorable deep sea creatures that has yet to be assigned an official moniker belongs to the genus Opisthoteuthis. That responsibility of naming it has recently fallen on Stephanie Bush, a postdoctoral researcher at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).
She gave a statement to Science Friday saying that “As someone that’s describing the species you get to pick what the specific name is. One of the thoughts I had was making it Opisthoteuthis adorabilis — because they’re really cute”.
She likes to describe them as being gelatinous and fragile, and having a well developed, parachute-looking web between the arms.
Even though researchers have been examining specimens ever since the 1990, they still don’t know all that much about the deep sea creature. There is still an abundance of unanswered questions about the cephalopod manages to survive at depths of 984 to 1.476 feet, where the environments are very hostile.
Then again, if cartoon logic will prove to extend to more than the creature’s physical appearance, often in animated shows and movies, the most adorable animals are also some of the deadliest, secretly hiding giant fangs or deadly poisons.
Researchers point out that the species moves unlike any other deep sea creature – it either moves its fins, or by pushing water through its funnel to propel itself upwards, or by pulsing its webbed arms, and even by using all three (3) methods at once.
Its natural habitat is believed to be ocean floor. It most likely looks for food (small crustaceans, worms, and other similar creatures) by swimming upwards and hovering for short periods of time.
Most surprising event since the creature started being studied happened last year. Researchers from MBARI collected several members of the species and some of them were sent to live at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where one of them laid eggs.
The eggs have been incubating for about a year now and experts are hopeful that they will hatch eventually. They mention that it’s fairly common for deep see creatures to wait for several years before they hatch.
Image Source: earthporm.com