Scientists spot rare glass octopus in the depths of the ocean
Scientists have spotted a rare glass octopus in the archipelago of the Phoenix Islands in the deepest parts of the Pacific Ocean, according to the British media.
The glass octopus has transparent skin that allow us to see its internal organs with the naked eye.
During a 34-day expedition in the Phoenix Islands, east of Kiribati, researchers were able to spot this amazing creature twice near the islands' protected area.
The glass octopus, first discovered in 1918, is rarely seen due to the great depths in which it swims.
Scientists have only been able to analyse it in a small way, after it was eaten by predators.
Its mantle can be up to 11 cm in length, and its total body can reach 45 cm in an adult.
The three upper pairs of arms are unequal in length, while an adult has arms that are two to three times the length of its mantle.
The glass octopus has almost rectangular eyes, and the female has embryos that develop inside eggs that remain in her body until she hatches.
Octopuses are characterised by their smallness and spacing in one chain, unlike other types.
Dr. Jyotika Virmani, Executive Director of the Schmidt Ocean Institute, said: "Working with local scientists and researchers, this expedition is a wonderful example of the frontiers of science and exploration that we can support."
The expedition was conducted by Virmani and other researchers from the institute, who spent more than a month exploring the islands, east of Kiribati, mapping more than 11,580 square miles.
In addition to the glass octopus, the researchers spotted other marine species during their 182-hour dive.
Using a small robot, they saw a whale shark — believed to be over 40 feet long — and spotted a crab stealing fish, a unique marine behaviour rarely seen.
The Phoenix Islands are one of the largest coral reef ecosystems in the world, and researchers have spent a large part studying its ecosystem.
"Research in the deep sea has changed the way we think about how organisms live and interact, and how to preserve the diversity of life in the deep ocean," said Tim Shank, a biologist at the Woods Hoy Institution of Oceanography.