Sometimes really cute creatures get really dumb names, which is kind of a waste, if you think about it. That may not be the case for long for this little guy, a small, insufferably cute cephalopod that looks more like a ghost from “PAC-man” than an octopus. Now, after completing the formal scientific identification process (the species has been known since 1990), researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute are pushing for an epically descriptive name: Adorabilis.
“As someone that’s describing the species you get to pick what the specific name is,” said Stephanie Bush, postdoctoral fellow at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, in an interview with Science Friday. “One of the thoughts I had was making it Opisthoteuthis adorabilis because they’re really cute.”
Don’t expect to run into adorabilis on your next ocean foray – they live deep in the ocean, at depths of around 1,000 feet. They’re also (adorably) small, just about seven inches in length. Despite having identified the creature in 1990, scientists only have a few specimens in the lab for examination.
Sadly, attempts to put the octopus on display have failed. Several specimens died, but one did lay eggs. The eggs have been incubating for about a year now, and the scientists are still hopeful they’ll hatch. According to researchers, it’s not uncommon for deep sea creatures to incubate their eggs for long periods of time – it’s unlikely anything dangerous will find them in the expansive deep, anyway.