The deep sea explorers of the ships E/V Nautilus and NOAA's Okeanos Explorer were busy off the west coast of North America and around the Marianas Trench this summer and made many remarkable discoveries. I’ve been remiss in not sharing some of their best bio finds with you, so over the next few months I’d like to slowly do just that. In honor of Halloween and the inherently stygian nature of many creatures of the deep, I’ll start out by sharing one ghoulish video each day between now and the big day.
Today’s offering is an octopus discovered by Okeanos Explorer on the Esmerelda Seamount west of Saipan (the largest island in the Northern Marianas) during the 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas. This guy has an uncanny resemblance to the picture in my imagination of Smaug, the gold-lusting dragon from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” (and I hear that there may be some sort of movie(s) or something recently made about it too.)