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By India Today Science Desk: Scientists have discovered a never-before-seen nursery of octopus off the coast of Costa Rica, taking the total number of such nurseries to three in the world.

The discovery of the brooding site proves that the first known aggregation of deep-sea octopus, the Dorado Outcrop, is an active nursery. The octopus is a new species of Muusoctopus, a genus of small to medium-sized octopus without an ink sac.

The discovery was done by a team of 18 international scientists aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel Falkor and the expedition was led by Dr. Beth Orcutt of the U.S.-based Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and Dr. Jorge Cortes of the University of Costa Rica.


The team observed the octopus hatching, disproving the idea that the area is inhospitable for developing young octopus.

“The discovery of a new active octopus nursery over 2,800 meters beneath the sea surface in Costa Rican waters proves there is still so much to learn about our Ocean,” said Schmidt Ocean Institute Executive Director, Dr. Jyotika Virmani.

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She added that the deep-sea off Costa Rica rides the edge of human imagination, with spectacular footage collected by ROV SuBastian of tripod fish, octopus hatchlings, and coral gardens. “We look forward to continuing to help the world witness and study the wonders of our incredible Ocean,” Dr. Jyotika added.

The team also explored seamounts in the northwestern corner of Costa Rica’s waters and found active biodiversity with hundreds of animals many of which are suspected to be new species unknown to science so far.

While the Dorado Outcrop nursery was first discovered in 2013, it was initially believed to be inhospitable to life, however, fresh observations revealed that there is active brooding.

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Scientists used an underwater robot, ROV SuBastian, to observe the seamounts and baby octopuses, they also found that the seamount is facing human activity.

“The discovery of these low-temperature vent sites is difficult and can only be found with submersible vehicles like Schmidt Ocean Institute’s highly capable ROV SuBastian,” said Dr Beth Orcutt of the U.S.-based Bigelow Laboratory.

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