Octopus's Garden

While conducting deep-sea research in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, scientists aboard the E/V Nautilus got a treat that will octopi their hearts forever. Near Davidson Seamount, they encountered a beautiful umbrella octopus that flapped past on wing-like fins. Later in the dive, they encountered more than a thousand Muusoctopus octopuses tucked into nooks with their arms inverted in a brooding posture.

Muusoctopus curled up between rocks

Scientists aboard E/V Nautilus witnessed the largest grouping of Muusoctopus ever recorded. The octopuses were positioned in a brooding posture, protecting their eggs. Photos: OET/NOAA

An umbrella octopus in deep water

The ghostly umbrella octopus (Grimpoteuthis sp.) drifted past ROV Hercules flapping wing-like fins, then inverted its webbed arms to reveal eight rows of suckers. Photo: OET/NOAA

The ROV hercules shines a light on a large gathering of Muusoctopus octopuses

Hercules investigates a large gathering of Muusoctopus octopuses. Photo: OET/NOAA