Rare Footage of a Dumbo Octopus Gracefully Floating Within a Column Deep in the Arctic Ocean

In July 2016, the ROV Global Explorer launched from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy captured absolutely gorgeous and rare footage of an ethereal Dumbo octopus gracefully floating within a water column 900 meters below the surface of the Arctic Ocean.

This dumbo octopus was filmed in the Arctic’s Chukchi Borderlands at a water depth of 900 meters (2,950 feet) using the Global Explorer remotely operated vehicle. Finned deep-sea octopods belong to the genus Cirroteuthis and are part of the Cirrina suborder. Cirrate octopods differ from other octopods in that they have abandoned swimming via jet propulsion and instead they rely on fins as their primary means of locomotion. These ear-like fins that protrude just above the eyes has earned this genus the nickname “dumbo octopods,” in honor of the ears of the famous Disney elephant, Dumbo.

This video along other amazing footage was taken as part of a summer-long NOAA voyage entitled “Hidden Ocean 2016: The Chukchi Borderlands

From July 2 – August 10, 2016, an international and multi-disciplinary team of scientists, media personnel, and educators will sail to the Arctic’s Chukchi Borderlands onboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy. They will apply an ecosystem perspective to investigate microbial communities in sea ice, water, and seafloor environments; water column (planktonic) organisms; invertebrate and fish seafloor (benthic) communities; as well as conduct observations of marine mammals and seabirds.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.