Two Miles Deep, Baby Octopuses Thrive

Jul 6, 2023

In a unique area of the ocean, explorers have found something special: an octopus nursery. This place is full of baby octopuses. It's located near the coast of Costa Rica, and scientists and octopus fans are very excited about it.  

The crew of Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Falcor research ship made the discovery. They used an underwater robot to dive two miles below the Pacific Ocean. The site was found next to a hydrothermal vent. They took photos and videos of different types of fish, baby octopuses, and coral.  

The baby octopuses have gotten the most attention. That's mainly because they're very cute. The babies look like tiny, pink balls with arms. Scientists think they might be a new species of small octopus. The species doesn’t have any ink. They were seen at a place called the Dorado Outcrop. The crew saw hundreds of them and knew that this place was a nursery. This is a place where octopuses lay their eggs together. 

The Dorado Outcrop is only the third place in the world that researchers have found an octopus nursery. The other two are also near hydrothermal vents. Scientists think that octopuses like these places for laying their eggs. Dr. Jyotika Virmani, Schmidt’s executive director, said they are not sure why they do this. 

This discovery "proves there is still so much to learn about our Ocean,” she said.     

Photo courtesy of the Schmidt Ocean Institute. 

Reflect: Scientists know more about Mars than about what’s in the deepest parts of our oceans. Why do you think that is?

Based on the details in the story, the discovery of the octopus nursery is exciting because _______. (Common Core RI.5.1; RI.6.1)
a. the nursery is found near a special underwater vent
b. it could be a new kind of octopus
c. octopus nurseries are not commonly found and need more study
d. B and C
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