This rare dumbo octopus (Cirrothauma murrayi) is often called the blind octopod due to the lack of a lens and reduced retina in its eyes. Its eyes can really only detect light and cannot form images. In this image, you can clearly see the ear-like fins that have earned finned deep-sea octopods belonging to the Cirrata suborder the nickname “dumbo,” after the ears of the famous Disney elephant, Dumbo. Cirrate octopods differ from other octopods in that they have all but abandoned swimming via jet propulsion and instead they rely on fins as their primary means of locomotion.
This octopus was seen during the Océano Profundo 2015: Exploring Puerto Rico’s Seamounts, Trenches, and Troughs expedition, while exploring the west wall of Mona Canyon at a depth of nearly 4,000 meters (2.5 miles).
Watch a video of the octopus.