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Marine researchers find rare glass octopus in Pacific Ocean

The glass octopus is a nearly transparent species. The only things visible on it are its optic nerve, eyeballs and digestive tract, according to scientists.
Credit: Schmidt Ocean Institute

TAMPA, Fla. — Marine scientists with the Schmidt Ocean Institute came across a sea creature you don't see every day — or at all if you're not looking close enough. 

The nonprofit organization tweeted out a video of the "glass octopus" its researchers spotted last month in the Pacific Ocean.

The glass octopus is a nearly transparent species. The only things visible on it are its optic nerve, eyeballs and digestive tract, according to scientists. 

The organization said 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.  

This dive took place at the Winslow reef complex on Tokelau Ridge in Phoenix Islands Archipelago. 

The octopus does not get very big and measures up to just eight inches long, including its tentacles.

“Working with scientists and local researchers, this expedition is a remarkable example of the frontiers of science and exploration that we are able to support,” said Dr. Jyotika Virmani, executive director of Schmidt Ocean Institute. “Live-streaming the dives gives us a glimpse of rarely seen and fascinating creatures such as the transparent glass octopus. By providing this platform to further the understanding of our ocean, we trigger the imagination while helping to push forward scientific insights and the protection of our underwater world.”

You can read more about the expedition here.

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