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  1. ITV Report

'Casper the friendly octopus': Scientists discover new ghostly species

A new species of Octopus has been discovered in the Pacific. Credit: oceanexplorergov/YouTube

A new species of Octopus with a ghostlike appearance has been discovered more than 4,000m underwater near Hawaii.

Scientists discovered the mysterious new creature whilst searching the sea bed in February. Sat alone on a flat rock was the remarkable little octopod.

Michael Vecchione of the NOAA laboratories said the octopus was lacking pigment cells, leading to its white, phantom-like appearance prompting calls for it to be named 'Casper'.

The appearance of this animal is unlike any published records and was the deepest observation ever for this type of cephalopod.

– Michael Vecchione of the NOAA

The Deep Discoverer, a remotely operated vehicle, was undertaking its first exploration of 2016 aiming to collect geological samples to compare to those found on nearby Necker Island when it happened across the octopod.

The octopus lacked fins and "did not seem very muscular", scientists noted. It is thought to be the deepest recording sighting of an octopus without fins.

The researchers believe this could be a previously undiscovered species.

The ghostlike octopus is almost certainly new species which does not belong to any described genus. Credit: NOAA