Young Red Cirrata Octopus Orbits Around a Lunar-Like Wall In the Pacific Deep Sea Terrain of Jarvis Island

While out on the west side of Jarvis Island in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, the ROV Hercules caught sight of a mysterious red jelly gracefully orbiting a lunar-like wall. It was only when the creature narrowly missed sharp protruding spines, that the crew realized the creature was an octopus, specifically a Cirrothauma magna.

Like something straight out of a sci-fi flick, the reddish hues of this “blob” starkly stand out against the deep blue-water backdrop, making it look like something from out of this world – not the depths of it.Described as a “bell pepper” with a “clown nose,” the creature likely belongs to a family of cirrate octopuses known as Cirroteuthidae… These cephalopods were first described in the 19th-century but to this day remain poorly understood given their deep-water habitat.