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Scientists have discovered a 'ghostlike' octopus near Hawaii

This ghostlike octopod is almost certainly an undescribed species and may not belong to any described genus. Image courtesy of NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Hohonu Moana 2016.

Scientists may have found a new species of octopus near Hawaii.

An exploratory vessel for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has stumbled upon a small “ghostlike” octopod while collecting geological samples in the Hawaiian Archipelago on the northeast side of Necker Island.

The light-coloured octopus which did not have any fins was found while the vehicle was exploring depths of over 4,000 metres.

The finding of the little creature last month was “unlike any published records” and has led researchers to believe that it may be part of a new species of octopus.

“It is almost certainly an undescribed species and may not belong to any described genus,” wrote Michael Vecchione of the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service.

“This animal was particularly unusual because it lacked the pigment cells, called chromatophores, typical of most cephalopods, and it did not seem very muscular.

“This resulted in a ghostlike appearance, leading to a comment on social media that it should be called Casper, like the friendly cartoon ghost.”

Here’s a closer look at it below.

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