By Tim Binnall
Scientists aboard a research vessel on an expedition in the Pacific Ocean captured rare footage of a breathtaking glass octopus swimming in the wild. The nearly transparent creature was reportedly documented by marine biologists from the Schmidt Ocean Institute during a 34-day-long visit to the remote Phoenix Islands Archipelago. On two occasions, via an underwater exploratory vehicle dubbed SuBastian, researchers managed to catch a glimpse of the deep sea denizen "whose only visible features are its optic nerve, eyeballs and digestive tract."
In a testament to just how elusive the glass octopus is, the clear cephalopod has only been caught on film on a handful of occasions and scientists have largely been forced to study the animal by way of 'lucky' incidents wherein the creatures were recovered from the stomachs of larger animals that had eaten them. During the expedition, researchers also captured the first-ever footage of a whale shark, which is believed to be the largest living fish in the world at more than 40 feet long, and observed unique marine animal behavior such as crabs fighting each other for food.