New ‘ghostlike’ species of octopus discovered

Spooky cephalopod dubbed Casper the Friendly Ghost confuses scientists - may not belong to any known genus.

7th March 2016
New ‘ghostlike’ species of octopus discovered (© oceanexplorergov/YouTube)

We’re months away from Halloween but already scientists for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are already seeing the spooky side of their latest discovery.

Lacking any of the pigment cells that give octopuses their distinctive colour, this eight-legged apparition is completely pale in complexion, which led to Twitter fans comparing him to Casper the Friendly Ghost.

This ghostly-white octopus was found off the coast of Necker Island, Hawaii, at a depth of 4,290m, the deepest a cephalopod of this kind has been found.

“After seeing this observation, I contacted my colleagues Louise Allcock (currently on a British ship near Antarctica) and Uwe Piatkowski (from Germany),” said Michael Vecchione, a research zoologist at NOAA. “They agreed that this is something unusual and is a depth record for the incirrate octopods.”

Not a bad find for the remotely-operated vehicle Deep Discoverer, whose mission goal was to collect some rocks from the sea bed.