It’s one of the least-known members of the octopus family ― a creature so elusive that scientists weren’t even sure what it ate.
A newly released video from one of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute’s remotely operated vehicles shows the seven-arm octopus, Haliphron atlanticus, snacking on a jellyfish.
“It looked as though Haliphron had not only made a meal of the jelly, but was hanging onto it, perhaps for defense or for help in catching prey,” the aquarium’s YouTube description said.
The aquarium said it’s only the third time its researchers have seen the octopus in 27 years.
“This species is rarely seen alive, and most of what is known about it came from specimens caught in trawl nets,” the organization said in a news release.
The seven-arm octopus grows to about 12 feet long and weigh up to 165 pounds. Despite the name, it has eight arms. In the males, one is kept in a sac beneath the eye, according to Nature magazine.
Clarification: This article initially attributed to Scientific American the information reported in Nature. Nature’s article was republished in the former, and the attribution has been updated.