Deep in the ocean’s cold, dark waters lives a species of wide-eyed octopus that will surely warm your heart with pure cuteness
Up until now, these peculiar creatures have gone unnamed. Now, scientists are preparing to formally name the species, and they’re considering the one word that captures this tiny cephalopod’s essence: Opisthoteuthis adorabilis.
Researchers have been collecting and studying these unidentified cephalopods since 1990, but no one undertook the exhaustive process to scientifically identify them. Scientists need to study newly discovered creatures — inside and out — to clearly describe how they are unique from other species that may be closely related. New species identifications, including a name, are then published as articles in scientific journals.
This species belongs to the Opistotheuthis genus, which includes octopus species that are notable for their compressed shape and stumpy, webbed limbs. The naming task in this case falls on Stephanie Bush, a researcher at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, who has been working hard to classify these aquatic animals.