The Ghost Octopus Is A Pigment-less, Gelatinous Creature

1 of 8

The Ghost Octopus Is A Pigment-less, Gelatinous Creature

Scientists found a new species of octopus in February of 2016 off the Hawaiian archipelago, and it's unique for a few reasons. They observed the ghost octopus swimming slowly at about 2.6 miles (4.3 kilometers) deep, much lower than any other octopod (a group of invertebrates that includes octopuses) without fins has even been seen. Other unique features of the octopus: it completely lacks pigment, giving it a very ghost-like appearance, hence the name. And because there's little food in the deep sea, and it takes a lot of energy to build muscles, the ghost octopus has a gelatinous consistency.

Octopuses Don't Have Tentacles!

2 of 8

Octopuses Don't Have Tentacles!

Many people refer to octopus limbs as tentacles, but technically, octopuses don't have any tentacles at all! Instead, they have arms. When you're talking about cephalopods, tentacles tend to be much longer than arms and only have suckers at their "clubbed" ends, whereas arms are shorter, stronger, and suckered all the way down. Tentacles also typically come in pairs. Squid and cuttlefish have eight arms plus a pair of feeding tentacles.

03:48

Key Facts to Know

  • 1

    Octopuses have beaks that can pierce through crab and clam shells. 1:02

  • 2

    Giant Pacific octopuses have about 240 suckers on each arm. 1:25

  • 3

    The plural of octopus is "octopuses," not "octopi". 2:47

The Tiny Blue-Ringed Octopus Could Easily Kill You

3 of 8

The Tiny Blue-Ringed Octopus Could Easily Kill You

Victims often don't even feel it when they've been bitten by a blue-ringed octopus. These tiny cephalopods are only the size of a golf ball, but the amount of venom they carry is enough to kill 26 human adults. The key toxin in the mix is tetrodotoxin, which paralyzes the victim's muscles, including their diaphragm. Once bitten, they have to be connected to a ventilator so that they can breathe. There is no known antivenom to treat the bite, meaning that those afflicted must wait for around 15 hours as the toxin wears off.

05:50

from Vsauce2

Key Facts to Know

  • 1

    A bite from the Inland Taipan could kill you within 45 minutes. 0:40

  • 2

    Stings from the box jellyfish are so painful that victims have gone into shock and drowned after being stung. 2:20

  • 3

    There is no antivenom that will counteract the effects of a blue-ringed octopus bite; victims must receive life-saving care until the toxin wears off. 4:13

The Huge Female Blanket Octopus, And The Tiny Male

4 of 8

The Huge Female Blanket Octopus, And The Tiny Male

The blanket octopus is rarely seen, especially the tiny males. Measuring barely an inch long, the males are dramatically smaller than females. Female blanket octopuses grow more than six feet long, and are up to 40,000 times heavier than males and about 100,000 bigger. To put this in perspective, imagine a full-sized human female next to a walnut-sized male. The blanket octopuses exhibit the largest sex size discrepancy in the animal kingdom.

Is This Octopus Using Tools?

5 of 8

Is This Octopus Using Tools?

Scientists filmed octopuses in Indonesia finding, carrying, and assembling coconut shells to hide inside. Their 2009 study classifies this behavior as tool use because the octopus had to gather the shells with a future plan in mind. Other researchers are unsure whether the octopus is truly demonstrating tool use (but all parties agree that the invertebrates are highly intelligent).

01:13

Key Facts to Know

  • 1

    Octopuses are said to be the world's most intelligent invertebrates. 0:01

  • 2

    Octopuses in Indonesia have been observed carrying coconut shells and assembling them into shelters. 0:18

  • 3

    Because octopuses are gathering coconut shells for a future purpose, scientists say that the behavior qualifies as tool use. 0:35