Adorable dumbo octopus wows marine scientists

Get ready for lots of oohing and aahing.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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This cutie lives deep under the sea.

Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

In 2015, we pondered the very important question of whether a chubby little unidentified octopus was the world's cutest cephalopod. This week, we have a new contender for the throne, a dumbo octopus spotted by the crew of the Exploration Vessel Nautilus.

The expedition posted a video of the Grimpoteuthis octopus, a type of umbrella octopus, complete with gushing commentary from the crew watching it on screen.

spotted the octopus this week with an underwater camera during an exploration of the Davidson Seamount in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of California.

The creatures get their nickname from a pair of rounded fins that resemble the ears on Disney's famous flying elephant. The dumbo octopus is a rare sight. Scientists shared the first ever video of a hatchling earlier this year.   

The footage alone is stunning, but the commentary elevates the video to an extreme level of delight. There's a lot of oohing and aahing. "You're going to be famous," one of the scientists says, knowing how the internet loves unusual sea creatures.

The dumbo wasn't the only eye-opening sight from the expedition. The ship's remotely operated vehicle discovered a massive hangout of deep-sea octopuses, the species Muusoctopus robustus, at the seamount. 

"Never before seen in such massive aggregations, females were brooding eggs near shimmering fluid seeps -- previously unknown to occur in this region!" the Nautilus team said in a tweet.

The Nautilus is a a project funded by the nonprofit Ocean Exploration Trust and has been an excellent source for fascinating and fun sea creature videos, including views of a rare Muppet-like gulper eel in September and a large red jellyfish from July.

These far-out animals fascinate and amuse scientists

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