Flapjack Octopus: Newly Discovered Pink Octopus Deemed ‘Adorable’

A pink octopus with “puppy dog eyes” has not yet been classified and is currently known simply as the “flapjack” octopus. The octopus has garnered international headlines, prompting many to conclude that the tiny sea creature should be given the scientific name, Opisthotheusis Adorabilis — because the octopus is so adorable.

The flapjack octopus has small “wing-like fins” on its head. Stephanie Bush, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute postdoctoral researcher, said that she is considering Opisthotheusis Adorabilis for the creature’s official scientific classification.

According to statements made by Bush to Science Friday, the pink octopus makes it home in the deep sea, which differentiates its from the other species of cephalopod. The flapjack octopus typically lives at depths of up to 1,476 feet.

The still unnamed mollusk is about seven inches in diameter and has a “gelatinous” body, which spreads into a parachute shape when maneuvering through dimly lit water. The flapjack also has eight jointed legs which are affixed together in an umbrella shape.

The flapjack reportedly resembles the “dumbo octopuses” and other underwater creatures, which inspired the Finding Nemo character “Pearl.” Several octopuses were found in the Monterey Bay and were caught and sent to live at the aquarium.

Scientists at the aquarium have reportedly “recreated the environment” where the pink octopus lives in the deep sea by using a red light that “dissipates” so rapidly the Adorabilis cannot see it. The habitat is also kept at very cold temperatures, which the sea creatures would normally experience in the wild.

One of the octopuses now living at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute has already left eggs in the habitat. Researchers are currently incubating the eggs — which could take up to three years to hatch out a set of baby Opisthotheusis Adorabilis.

The newly discovered version of the flapjack octopus is part of a species which comes in varying shapes and sizes, which include the Opisthoteuthis californiana, Opisthoteuthis albatrossi.

What would you name the adorable pink octopus?

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