1. Leigh Williams says

    Beautiful creature. Any idea how big she is? I get no sense of scale from the video, and the short article doesn’t say.

  2. Nangleator says

    Did I not see some of that dress tearing off near the end? And red wings opening up when the submersible got too close…

    I may not sleep well tonight.

  3. GeoffR says

    That’s amazing,what’s going on there?
    Is that trailing membrane some sort of a mantle that can be shed? I imagine it would either attract prey, or appear large to discourage predators.

  4. AnneH says

    What a magnificent creature!

    My completely uninformed guess is that the shedding of part of her mantle is a response to a threat, something like those lizards that can lose and then regrow their tails. The lights of the ROV might have spooked her…

    (again, only guessing, I really have no idea.)

  5. Hank Bones says

    Thats amazing. Kinda reminds me of a phoenix, with the blood-red color at the end.

    Anyone actually know whats going on here?

  6. Yarcofin says

    … did it shed it’s “tail” and immediately regenerate a new one at the end, or what was I seeing there? Something clearly broke off.

  7. Bullet Magnet says

    When the revolution comes, these guys will be head of mind control operations, right? They are more than qualified for hypnosis.

  8. Sven DiMilo says

    Thanks for the link, BJN and A.B.
    An extra-cool tidbit from there:

    Young individuals carry broken tentacles of the Portuguese man-of-war (jellyfish) on the suckers of the dorsal four arms. The borrowed tentacles, which have stinging cells, presumably have a defensive and/or offensive function.

    And amazing photos here.

  9. Keanus says

    Salome had nothing on this beauty. Especially the accompanying music. I’d go down in a submersible to watch that any day!

  10. Qwerty says

    Now I have that tune running through my head along with a memory of the octopus.

  11. says

    From Tremoctopus:

    Large ocelli can be displayed on the dorsal web. This web and the slender tip of the arms can, apparently, be autotomized along visible “fracture” lines. The autotomized arms and membranes presumably wiggle to distract or cling to a predator while the octopod swims away.

    Autotomy: “reflex separation of a part (as an appendage) from the body : division of the body into two or more pieces.” There’s a word I don’t use enough.

  12. Der letzte Schweinebrat says

    Raivo Pommer

    LBBW-Bank krisehilfe

    Die Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) wird fünf Milliarden Euro bekommen, um die Folgen der Finanzkrise abzufedern – in Form einer Kapitalerhöhung. Doch möglicherweise braucht Deutschlands größte Landesbank noch mehr Hilfe. Einem Bericht der Schwäbischen Zeitung zufolge benötigt das Institut zur Absicherung von risikobehafteten Papieren Garantien in Höhe von 16 Milliarden Euro. Die Bank wollte dazu am Freitag keine Stellung nehmen.

    SPD-Fraktionschef Claus Schmiedel, der Mitglied im LBBW-Verwaltungsrat ist, sagte: “Die Zahl ist aus der Luft gegriffen.” Man müsse sich darauf konzentrieren, nur die stark schwankenden Papiere abzusichern. “Denn jede zusätzliche Abschirmung kostet Geld und belastet die Gewinne.” Den Umfang wollte er nicht nennen.

    Wie die Zeitung aus der Bank nahestehenden Kreisen erfuhr, sollen die Papiere aus dem Kreditersatzgeschäft, die großen Schwankungen unterworfen sind, in eine Zweckgesellschaft ausgegliedert werden. Finanzkreisen zufolge soll es sich bei dem Volumen um etliche Milliarden handeln. Dadurch sollen sie die Bilanz der LBBW nicht mehr belasten.

  13. Allen N says

    Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about! Abso-fuckin-lutely amazing. Beats the fuck out of the puerile natterings of Pete on another thread.

  14. Crudely Wrott says

    An underwater aurora.

    Silk pulled through the water.

    And it lives and has business to attend to.

    Every discovery like this, of something really different, makes me feel just a bit more secure. The more complex the warp and weave of life, the tighter we are knit into the fabric of the universe.

    I’m smiling right now.

    E Pluribus Unum

  15. AVSN says

    One of the few cool things I’ve seen here. One point on the “I’ll come back again” ratings.

  16. gypsytag says

    And no your highness and mighty PZ, no one is complaining. we will dutifully read and watch whatever you post.

    I don’t know what other people’s reasons are but i’m addicted…..

    Is that the proper euphemism for having no life?

  17. JohnnieCanuck says

    By the size. The male is very, very much smaller. According to Wikipedia, this creature has the greatest sexual dimorphism of any non-microscopic animal. Mass ratio is 40,000:1.

    The blanket is part of its autotomic predator avoidance strategy.

    Its common name is blanket octopus.

  18. Onotheo says

    NO! It’s creepy … and beautiful.
    This is a very show-off species, does some persist just for that reason?

  19. says

    That is the second most beautiful thing I’ve seen today. In a couple of hours, I’ll wake up the first and share it with her. Thank you so much for introducing me to something this amazing and wonderful. It’s an amazing feeling to be awed by the beauty of the natural world.

  20. puseaus says

    Richard Dawkins may have his castle, but he don’t have this one! Where in Oklahoma can I see this?

  21. says

    Thanks, Big City.

    Sili, yeah. Lots of deep sea critters are red, and the leading hypothesis is that it’s to hide. The red color in some others that are mostly clear is to hide whatever bioluminescent dinner they just had.

  22. True Bob says

    This pisses me off so much, especially in reporting that should know better:

    Males are ~100 times smaller than females.

    Friggin idiots. Maybe their blood pressure is 10 times lower and their body temp is twice as cool as well. Mind pointing out where the reference point is?

  23. marko says

    Now I see where the idea behind the look and movement of some of the underwarer aliens in “Abyss” comes from.

  24. says

    Ah, that was lovely. I saw it last night after spending the day at an orchid expo, and somehow it all rhymed beautifully. So many gorgeous, various, amazing ways of being alive.

    O the world is so full of a number of things
    I am sure we should all be as happy as … biologists!

  25. Lord Zero says

    Indeed, i agree with Ron here. Becoming a biologist
    was the best decision what i ever made.
    Being so close to understand how life works never
    ceases to give me happiness.

  26. Mbee says

    Fascinating! What evolution can produce is truly wonderful.

    The rest of humanity is missing out by keeping their heads stuck inside old books!

  27. Noni Mausa says

    What’s going on? Well, the link tells us that these beauties probably only deploy their wings when frightened and being pursued.

    So what we have here is the oceanic equivalent of a romantic Victorian heroine fleeing a fate worse than death across the wild moors in her tearing and trailing silken wedding dress.

    It is probably dark.

    And stormy.


  28. John Phillips, FCD says

    PZ, you can post vids like that all day long and I doubt if many here would complain. There have been some awesome previous Friday Cephs, but this one has to be the very very best for a long time. I just watched this SuperCeph slackjawed with awe, FSMdamn I love this planet.

    And a big thanks to those who posted additional links.

  29. Thomas True says

    Not only is it a beautiful animal but it plays wonderful music. I wonder what evolutionary function the music serves this octopus or squid?

  30. Kevin Schreck says

    I had never heard of this creature before. Cephalopods truly are spectacular.