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Dance of the Dumbo Octopus

4 minutes

(Describer) Title: Dance of the Dumbo Octopod.

(Describer) The sun behind clouds is viewed from the rail of a ship in open water.

(Describer) A camera goes underwater.

[bubbles gurgling]

["Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven playing]

(Describer) Deep down, against a dark background, a light blue creature lies between branches of coral. It rises from it very slowly.

(Describer) The top is round and smooth, with round fins on its sides like ears, which wave slowly. Its tentacles spread out. Viewed from the side, a small dark hole is under one fin.

(Describer) The fins still waving, the round end turns forward, and it moves that way. Some of its eight tentacles trail behind.

(Describer) The other tentacles join them going back as the octopod gains momentum.

(Describer) It rises, giving a view of its underside. Tiny suckers are in a line along the bottom of each tentacle.

(Describer) The tentacles stretch as the creature bobs downward.

(Describer) Viewed more closely, the round end seems translucent. The octopus keeps moving down.

(Describer) Then it moves up again, its round fins still waving. Its thin skin ripples as it rises away.

(Describer) Titles: In September 2005, members of the Visions 05 expedition captured video footage of the white deep-sea octopod, Grimpoteuthis bathyectes. A high-definition underwater video camera was carried to the seafloor on a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) tethered to the ship. The footage was taken in the northeast Pacific, 200 miles off the Oregon coast at a depth of 6600 feet. This region is home to hydrothermal vent fields, or hot springs, associated with the underwater volcanoes of the Juan de Fuca Ridge. This octopod, Grimpoteuthis bathyectes, is nicknamed "Dumbo" because of its large "ear" like fins. These fins and webbed arms help it swim through the water. What looks like a head is a muscular bag that holds all the body organs and gills. Little is known about the deep-sea octopods. How good is the vision of their big bulbous eyes? What is the purpose of the small sense organs on the arms called cirri? Professors John Delaney and Deborah Kelley of the University of Washington led the Visions 05 expedition. Accessibility provided by the US Department of Education.

[classical piano music plays]

Accessibility provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

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In September 2005, members of an ocean exploration captured video footage of the white deep-sea octopod, Grimpoteuthis bathynectes. They nicknamed the octopod “Dumbo” because of its large ear-like fins. These fins and webbed arms help it swim through the water.

Media Details

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