Have you ever wished to be invisible to avoid situations that you do not like? Biologically, humans are not capable of hiding in plain sight but a few really lucky species are. One of them is the glass octopus, a stunning nearly transparent marine organism that uses its transparent texture to minimise shadows and hide from predators. However, these wonderful creatures, despite being abundant, are rare to spot.
Now, ocean researchers at Schmidt Ocean Institute have well captured this ocean beauty on camera for an extended period of 22 minutes. The Ocean Research Institute shared a portion of the video on Instagram on June 26. In the underwater footage, a nearly transparent glass octopus can be seen floating in the Pacific Ocean. The only visible features of the octopus are its digestive tract, optic nerve and eyeballs, which can be seen in the video.
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The silvery cylinder-like structure inside the mantle of the mollusc is its digestive tract. The marine animal keeps its digestive tract in a way that it produces the least or no amount of shadow, to be completely invisible to the predators around or below the octopus. Instagram users found the video stunning and expressed that the video was “incredible” and the marine creature looked “fabulous.” An Instagram user wrote, “Beautiful and amazing. It is true that humans know more about space than our own earth oceans.”
The video was captured using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) named SuBastian that was being operated by Phoenix Islands Coral Team. The team captured the footage on a shallow dive in the Pacific Ocean near Phoenix Islands Archipelago. The dive was live-streamed on YouTube on June 26.
The glass octopus, scientifically known as Vitreledonella richardi, are found in tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide. According to the caption of the shared video, there is limited live footage of such animals barring scientists to observe them well first-hand and alive. Most of what scientists know about them comes from studying specimens found in the stomach contents of other animals that had eaten them.