The World’s First Known Deep-Sea Octopus Nursery.

In early June, about 150 miles off the western shore of Costa Rica and 10,000 feet below the ocean’s surface, an octopus hatched just in time to see an alien invasion. As the newborn slipped from her egg and into her world—a strip of rocky seamount heated slightly by hydrothermal vents—a remotely operated submersible, the ROV SuBastian, was getting to know the place too, turning LEDs and cameras on the otherwise lightless enclave.

Several feet from the SuBastian’s chunky robotic arm, the octopus flexed her own spaghetti-thin appendages for the first time, propelling herself out from under her mother. Two miles up, watching the video feed from the control room of the research cruiser Falkor (too), marine biologist Diva Amon saw it happen. 

As more hatchlings scooted across the screen, the dozens of scientists and crew members on board—all members of the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s “Octopus Odyssey” expedition—became exuberant. “There was squealing and excitement and pointing,” recalls Beth Orcutt, a geomicrobiologistat the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and one of the expedition’s chief scientists. “It was a riot,” says Jorge Cortés-Núñez, the other chief scientist and a coral reef specialist at the University of Costa Rica. “It was spectacular.

Source: https://nautil.us


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