Rare footage shows a 'Dumbo' octopus more than 5,500 feet underwater, swimming with its ear-shaped fins

  • Rare footage shows a "Dumbo" octopus swimming near a submersible in the deep ocean.

  • The animal was spotted more than 5,500 feet underwater by a research expedition.

  • The Ocean Exploration Trust's Nautilus mission ran into the octopus while live-streaming.

Rare footage shows an unusual octopus appearing in the deep sea, more than 5,500 feet underwater.

The ghostly octopus came into view of the cameras of the Hercules, a remotely operated deep-sea submersible run by Ocean Exploration Trust.

"Oh wow!" said the submersible's navigators as the octopus appeared floating in the camera's bright lights.

"Oh, the flappy ears," said one of the navigators, referring to the two ear-like fins on the octopus's mantle.

These kinds of octopuses have been named "Dumbo" in reference to the Disney elephant who uses his ears to fly.

Video stills show the pale-white dumbo octopus set against a deep blue sea background. It's mantle is facing the camera and it's fins are shown flapping about.
A still from the video shows the Dumbo octopus.Ocean Exploration Trust / NOAA

The octopus can be seen appearing around 8 seconds into the video below:

Dumbo octopuses are a rare sight to behold, though they are well known to those studying the deep waters of the Central Pacific, per a release from the Ocean Exploration Trust seen by Insider.

They are thought to dive the deepest of all the known octopuses, living up to 13,000 feet under the surface, National Geographic reported.

Their characteristic ear-shaped fins can flap to help them waft around nonchalantly at great depths. That sets them apart from those living closer to the surface, which jet around by spitting water out of siphons on the side of their mantle.

"It's so graceful, like, the motion," says one of the submersible's operators in the video.

Stills from the video shows the dumbo octopus. On the left, it is seen extending its tentacles, it's ear flapping as it swims away. On the right the octopus is floating along some equipment seen from the submersible seen in the shot of the camera.
Side by side images show the Dumbo octopus, captured more than 5,500 feet underground.Ocean Exploration Trust / NOAA

The octopus on the video is a fairly large one, around 2 feet long, a spokesperson for the Ocean Exploration Trust told Insider in an email.

Most Dumbo octopuses are under a foot long, though they can reach up to 6 feet in length.

It was spotted during the latest expedition of the Ocean Exploration Trust studying the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, a largely unexplored protected area 180 miles from Hōlanikū in Hawaii.

This isn't the first enthralling deep-sea footage that the Ocean Exploration Trust has shared. Another video showed dozens of octopuses, fish, and other marine wildlife feeding on the skeleton of a dead whale at the bottom of the ocean.

The Ocean Exploration Trust livestreams its missions on a website for the Nautilus.

Read the original article on Business Insider