It may look like a creature making a great Finding Dory cameo, but this adorable underwater specimen spotted relaxing on the sea floor is no Pixar animation.
At maturity, these googly-eyed creatures grow to about six cm long and, as both male and female die after mating, they live for only two years. Adults mostly eat live shrimp, The Cephalopod Page reports, and they produce large quantities of mucus, which form a thick, protective ‘Jello’ jacket around them.
The footage was captured by a remotely-operated submersible, sent down to the sea floor by scientists working on the ocean exploration vessel E/V Nautilus.
According to the Nautilus team, Rossia pacifica is found in the Northern Pacific from Japan to Southern California at depths of usually around 300m. This critter was spotted at 900m, however, and researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) claim to have spotted the specimen at even greater depths of 1,300m.
Despite their extensive experience studying underwater creatures, the scientists are clearly excited when the submersible comes across the creature as they can be heard exclaiming “his eyes look painted on!” and “he looks so fake!”.
You can explore the ocean live with the team on the Nautilus website.