Recently, a submersible vehicle made an interesting discovery on the rocky seafloor of the Dorado Outcrop, west of Costa Rica. Beneath the ocean’s surface there were hundreds of small and purple octopuses, with their babies or protecting their eggs. However, the researchers noticed something bizarre. They were sitting on the hardened lava of an undersea volcano. The vehicle made multiple dives and each time found about 100 hundred of them.
The new species is part of the genus Muuscoctopus and have very large eyes in comparison with their relatively small bodies. What was even more interesting is that these octopuses are usually solitary. However, this time, they were gathered in very large groups on the hardened lava. Moreover, it seems that things are actually a lot weirder than this. The temperature of the water where the colony was staying was a lot warmer than the suitable one for them. When the water it’s too hot, deep-sea octopuses are almost unable to extract the oxygen form it. Apart from this, the researchers noticed that their embryos were not developing at all because of the warm temperatures. So, why would these octopuses go through so much trouble to guard some eggs that will never hatch?
The bizarre, purple octopuses
During their dives, the team of researchers collected data about the water temperatures and analyzed the dissolved oxygen in the water. Upon analyzing the creatures too, the team knew their genus right away. However, because they did not collect any of them, the new species still remains undescribed.
What these octopuses are doing could spell trouble for them. But why do they do it in the first place? According to researchers’ theories, the conditions were probably not that severe when they established their colony there. Another theory has to do with overcrowding in cooler waters, a phenomenon which forced these purple octopuses relocate.
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