World's Largest Octopus Gathering Was Just Discovered in California

Andrew Roberts 31 Oct 2018

The scientists behind this discovery got very excited when cameras captured this sight, and for good reason. Researchers in California just stumbled upon the largest octopus gathering ever discovered and the largest since a gathering near Costa Rica back in April.

The Largest Discovery To This Point

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The discovery came at the end of a 35-hour expedition near the previously unexplored rocky habitat near the Davidson Seamount, revealing thousands of the tentacled creatures in what is called a "brooding" position according to KQED:

They were found in "brooding" positions, with their arms inverted as they covered their eggs, which they cemented to rocks approximately 10,000 feet below the ocean surface.

It was the first time scientists had found this type of cluster on the West Coast, and only the second time they have ever been observed.

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A True Surprise

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The scientists aboard the Nautilus research vessel had initially set out to study coral and sponge fields. The 211-foot research boat, armed with two remote-controlled robots, happened upon the brood and couldn't believe their eyes:

“I’ve never in my career come across something like this, where these could potentially be nursery habitats, and another extremely important reason why we need to protect this area,” [lead scientist Chad King] said.

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So Much To Learn

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The type of octopus discovered is the Muusoctopus robustus species, a smaller type that doesn't feature the typical ink sac and is considered "cosmopolitan" according to Quartz, origination in the Pacific Northern Hemisphere and making their way around the ocean.

Quartz adds that many discoveries have been made about how octopuses live. This includes the existence of a small "metropolis" researchers dubbed Octlantis. And some scientists have gone so far as hypothesizing that these cephalopods may even have come to Earth from outer space due to their evolution that is way ahead of humans.

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Mysterious Ocean Discoveries

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Recent years have seen many ocean creatures that were once believed to be myths comes into reality, like the giant squid. While the reality of these creatures is far from the "Kraken" and giant beasts of old lore, they do represent just how little we have learned about the depths at this point.

Every year shows us something new or gives us another thing to study about ocean life.

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Bizarre Creatures From The Depths

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The idea that monsters exist deep below the ocean surface has filled science fiction stories for years. The Cloverfield beast or the killers from Pirahna are works of fiction that breed fear, and The Meg's giant shark is long extinct, but it doesn't mean there aren't true monsters and oddities below the waves.

Scientists are always discovering new species that live in the darkness of the deepest parts of the oceans. A recent 2017 search off the Australian coast delivered a massive 40,000 haul of deep sea creatures.

Among that group were at least five species of fish that had never been discovered by scientists before.

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Mistaken Identity

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Plenty of strange creatures have also washed to shore over the years, feeding into myth and giving people cause for panic. That is until they have been identified as other animals that have just been damage or decomposed beyond recognition.

Many have thought we have seen new monsters or extinct creatures, only to have them revealed to be dead dolphins, whales, sharks, and even a burned raccoon that ended up being confused for some sort of Ghostbusters demon dog.

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Not Always Living

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And not every undersea discovery is technically a living creature -- or at least living in the sense that it is swimming around. The Great Barrier Reef is impressive, but it is not the only one in the area apparently according to NPR:

The limestone circles amount to a second, deeper reef behind the Great Barrier Reef, researchers say. The scientists who discovered it off the coast of northern Australia say they're surprised by its vast size — and by the strange shapes.

"They form these fields of doughnut-shaped structures ... sometimes they're like singular circular rings, sometimes in groups of three or four,"

There have also been discoveries that involve the absence of something -- like a hole in the planet. A BBC report details the "open wound" under the sea where the continental plates split -- a common occurrence usually that "heals" thanks to the magma beneath -- and it just isn't filling back up.

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A Whole Other Ocean!

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Beneath all of these, there could be another entire ocean that could fill the current one three times over. According to The Guardian, there is water locked inside of a mineral called ringwoodite that lies 400 miles under the crust of the Earth.

For the scientists studying this, it seems to represent part of the secret of what makes Earth the way it is:

“I think we are finally seeing evidence for a whole-Earth water cycle, which may help explain the vast amount of liquid water on the surface of our habitable planet. Scientists have been looking for this missing deep water for decades.”

Space is vast and incredibly interesting to explore, but we've got a ton of places right here on Earth that is just an unknown. It could be amazing to see how far we can go.

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