World’s Most Adorable Little Octopus Hides From Camera In Plain Sight

Thanks to the Nautilus Exploration Program’s research vessel, the E/V Nautilus, and its remote-operated underwater vehicles, anyone with love for the marine world can catch live streams of their expeditions and the fascinating creatures these glimpses yield. One clip from a spin off the central California coast in the deep water of the Pacific Ocean revealed saltwater paydirt.

Captured together in one scene, a jellyfish, a flatfish, a shark, and a Flapjack Octopus can be seen just going with the current of underwater life. But it’s the little octopus drawing all the attention because it’s just so darn cute!

screenshot, EVNautilus/YouTube

The Cutest Little Cephalopod

Known by the nickname adorabilis because it’s one cute cephalopod, the Flapjack is part of a grouping known as umbrella octopuses for their comparable shape. These umbrellas are also called the “Dumbo” because of their flappy fins that look much like elephant ears. And the Dumbo in this capture from the E/V Nautilus shows us how that name rings true.

screenshot, EVNautilus/YouTube

Zooming in on the little yellow cutie, one of the explorers asked, “Did you know the brain is wrapped around the esophagus?”

This, of course, led to jokes about thinking and eating, but also the revelation these octopuses can’t eat anything too large or “they will explode their brain.”

screenshot, EVNautilus/YouTube

And as the explorer shares that scary bit, tiny Dumbo seems to be reacting to her words, squinching its eyes shut and then wrapping its fat tentacles over its head to hide from such a dreadful fate!

screenshot, EVNautilus/YouTube

Really though, the octopus is reacting to the bright light on the remote vehicle. This little squish is used to darker conditions on the bottom of the ocean floor! But once it realizes some big weird thing is looking, Dumbo throws its arms over its head to hide in plain sight. How incredibly adorable!

screenshot, EVNautilus/YouTube

How Did This Cutie Get Its Name?

And let’s go back to that nickname of adorabilis. How did such a perfect moniker for a creature so, well, adorable come about?

The Monterey Herald explains the name idea came about as a joke when Stephanie Bush, a postdoctoral fellow at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, was tasked with identifying the eight-legged cutie pie.

“I thought that since this animal is so adorable, I should name it adorabilis,” joked Stephanie. “I’m supposed to be this really serious stoic scientist, but I’m still human. It’s just so cute.”

screenshot, EVNautilus/YouTube

And because it’s just so cute, we couldn’t help learning more about the Dumbo, so enjoy these fun facts about the Flapjack Octopus:

  • The Flapjack’s scientific name is Opisthoteuthis californiana.
  • They have a lifespan of 1½ – 2½ years.
  • The Flapjack lives in the deep ocean and loves chilling in soft mud.
  • They’re carnivores who enjoy snacking on worms and small invertebrates.
  • Flapjack and other umbrella octopuses can’t “ink” like other species.
  • The webbing between their tentacles makes umbrella octopuses look like their namesake as they float to the ocean floor.
  • Their reddish pigments help them avoid detection from predators as red colors appear “dark” in the deep sea.

RELATED: “8-Armed Bullies Of The Sea” Punch Fish Just Because They Can

Feature Image: EVNautilus/YouTube

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