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Part of the most remote island archipelago on Earth, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument supports a reef ecosystem with more than 7,000 marine species and is home to many species of coral, fish, birds and marine mammals. This includes the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, the endangered leatherback and hawksbill sea turtles. A Hawaiian monk seal naps on the beach with a rainbow on the horizon. Photo by Mark Sullivan, NOAA/HMSRP, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer.


This is actual footage of an unknown species of jellyfish. It was discovered four days into the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer’s mission to investigate the Marianas (both Islands and Trench).  The jellyfish was floating in the waters of the aptly named Enigma Seamount at a depth of about 2.3 miles. 

It is most likely a type of hydromedusa, belonging to the genus Crossota. It has two sets of tentacles - one short and one long - and appears to extend the long set in a predatory pose. According to the scientists, “Within the bell, the radial canals in red are connecting points for what looks like the gonads in bright yellow.”

Check out this octopod, found on the last mission of the Okeanos! And follow their remotely controlled submarine dives via this live stream.


Ghostlike Octopus Found Lurking Deep Below the Sea 

While exploring the deep sea northeast of Hawaii’s Necker Island with a remotely operated vehicle, scientists aboard the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer were surprised to encounter what may be a never-before-seen octopus.

Though the February 27 discovery was made at a depth of 4,290 meters (14,075 feet), the octopus belongs to a group of octopods that have not previously been observed at depths greater than 4,000 meters (13,123 feet).

This octopus lacks pigment cells typical of most cephalopods, which gives it a ghostlike appearance.  

(via: National Geographic)


On February 25, 2016, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer embarked on a 23 day mission to explore uncharted ecosystems and seafloor in and around Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) off the coast of Hawai’i. The monument is one of the largest conservation areas in the world; over 139,797 square miles and is home to 7,000 species, a variety of geological features and a Japanese aircraft carrier lost during WWII. 

The discovery of an unknown octopod - possibly a new species - has already caught the attention of the internet.

According to Athline Clark, PMNM superintendent for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, "NOAA’s exploration efforts provide the information we need to properly protect the health and integrity of this precious ecosystem.“

The expedition includes 24-hour operations consisting of remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives and mapping operations. All dives are being live-streamed so you can follow along!

Images Courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2016 Hohonu Moana.