Miles below the surface of the ocean, in the dark waters along a rocky seabed, an underwater vehicle unexpectedly encountered a bizarre spectacle: hundreds of small, purple octopi, many of which protect mothers' eggs and cling to the hardened lava underwater. Volcano
The sight was amazing, researchers said. During several dives, the scientists saw in the submersible up to 100 octopuses at a time, with most of the hatching eggs attached to the ledge accumulating around cracks in the cooled lava substrate.
The octopuses, which have enormous eyes compared to their plate-sized bodies, have been identified as a new species in the genus Muuscoctopus. This made the sightings even stranger, as squid in this group are usually loners who do not congregate in dense groups. [8 Crazy Facts About Octopuses]
It got weirder from there. The water temperatures in which the colony crouched were much warmer than those of deep-sea octopuses, which have difficulty extracting oxygen from excessively hot water. In fact, researchers who studied the colony found that none of the embryos developed and reported in a new study that the adults "probably would not survive".
What is the story behind this mysterious, doomed gathering of squid mothers in volcanically warmed waters and protective eggs that will never hatch
"They should not be there"
"When I saw the photos for the first time I thought, "No, they should not be there! so deep and not so many, "said co-author Janet Voight, an associate curator for zoology at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, in a statement from the museum.
The story unfolded at the Dorado Outcrop, lying about 250 Kilometers west of Costa Rica at a depth of 3,000 meters Study Co-Author Geoff Wheat, a geochemist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has completed two expeditions ̵
1; 2013 and 2014 – taking photos and taking hundreds of hours of video footage of the unusual octopus . Assembly