Speed 1.4 knots
Location Larsen A (-64.72496, -59.16520667)
Depth 507 meters
Any of my students could tell you that my favorite animal is an octopus. I spend one day a year giving a lecture about how cool they are. In fact, last year for Halloween I dressed up as an octopus.
Yesterday, I was super duper excited because they found an octopus in the blake trawl. The scientists drag a net along the bottom and pick up all the benthic organisms. They found a small octopus earlier in the cruise, but this one was huge. The black bucket it is in is about a meter in diameter.
They estimated that the octopus must be about 50 years old because it was so big!
As soon as they placed the octopus in the bucket, it was trying to escape. The octopus is one of the smartest invertebrates and aquariums that have one constantly have to give the octopus puzzles to keep it entertained. They are beautiful and inquisitive creatures and like to explore their environment. When I stuck a finger near one of its suckers, it grabbed on.
Octopi have the amazing ability to change color as well as texture to blend into their surroundings. They're ferocious hunters and also can shoot ink to distract any predators that might think they look like a tasty meal.
I feel extremely lucky to have seen this octopus up-close. The scientists have a lot of respect for these intelligent animals and put this one back into the water after everyone got a chance to see it.