A marine biology researcher in California has the difficult task of deciding on a name to encapsulate the cuteness of an unclassified octopus with puppy dog eyes.
The animal, which has small wing-like fins on its head, has garnered so many accolades for being ‘adorable’ that the adjective may become its official title.
Stephanie Bush, a postdoctoral researcher at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, said that she is considering the scientific name Opisthotheusis Adorabilis for a species currently only known as the flapjack octopus.
A researcher at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute must decide what to call an unclassified species of ‘flapjack octopus’ and is thinking about calling it Opisthotheusis Adorabilis
She told Science Friday that she is looking for a name for the octopus, which lives in the deep sea at depths of up to 1,476ft (450m), to help differentiate it from other species of the cephalopod.
The unnamed mollusk has a gelatinous body of about 7inches (18cm) in diameter that it spreads wide to ‘parachute’ through stretches of dimly lit water.
Its eight legs joined together by a large web that resembles an umbrella.
They share similarities with ‘dumbo octopuses’ and other similar creatures that inspired the pink Octopus character Pearl in Finding Nemo.
Several of the octopuses, which are found in the Monterey Bay, were captured and allowed to live at the local aquarium.
Stephanie Bush (right) was struck by the animal’s cuteness after capturing some. Scientists devised a system of red lights (left) so that the deep sea creature could be seen while feeling like it was 1,400ft deep in the sea
The newly discovered octopus is related to previously known species such as the so-called ‘Dumbo octopus’. Above, scientists interact with the Dumbo using a mechanical arm
Aquarium scientists recreated the environment found hundreds of meters below the sea by using red light that quickly dissipates so the Adorabilis can’t see it.
The tank is also set to a very cold temperature to mimic natural conditions.
One of the captured animals was comfortable in the tank and left eggs that are now being incubated.
Researchers believe that the eggs may take three years before hatching out a batch of baby Opisthotheusis Adorabilis.
The new discovery joins other species of ‘flapjack octopuses’ which come in different sizes, shapes and degrees of adorability.
They include Opisthoteuthis californiana, Opisthoteuthis albatrossi and the so-called Dumbo octopus.