The little octopod was discovered on the northeast side of Necker Island by using the remotely operated vehicle Deep Insider. Scientists described the sea creature as a ghost-like octopod due to the lack of pigment cells, giving it a translucent appearance.

The original objective of the dive was to collect geological samples on the ridge in order to determine whether these have the same composition as previously collected samples, according to a report from NOAA on March 2. In spite of this, as the remotely operated vehicle or ROV was navigating along the coast near Necker Island, it encounter a small octopod worthy of attention.

This ghostlike octopod is almost certainly an undescribed species and may not belong to any described genus. Credit: NOAA

As the submersible vehicle explored depths of over 4,000 meters, it came across an outstanding little octopod at unusual depths recorded for that type of cephalopod, said the report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA for short.

The octopod was quickly nicknamed Casper due to its resemblance to the cartoon ghost with the large head, see-through appearance, and big round eyes. The reason why this little sea animal caught researchers attention was the depth at which the octopod was, considering the looks of Casper suggesting he’s a shallow-water octopus.

It’s crucial to understand the separation between deep-sea octopods for scientists to decide on whether is really a new species, or just a deviated species adapted to deeper waters. Fins on the side of their bodies characterize the cirrate or finned octopods while the incirrate  lack both fins.

Scientists believe the newly found octopod belongs to the incirrate type as it lacks the fins for which the incirrate, also known as “dumbo” octopods is distinguished. However, this type of creature is common to inhabit on shallow waters, as it can’t navigate as well as the dumbo octopods do.

Scientists from NOAA say the animal is particularly unusual because it lacked the pigment cells, called chromatophores, which are responsible for changing the octopus’ color depending on the environment. The researchers were amazed as, unlike other octopods found deep underwater

Source: NOAA