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10 Weird Creatures From the Mariana Trench


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Telescope Octopus
The telescope octopus got its name from its protruding eyes, a unique feature among octopuses. © 2015 HowStuffWorks, a division of Infospace LLC
The telescope octopus got its name from its protruding eyes, a unique feature among octopuses. © 2015 HowStuffWorks, a division of Infospace LLC

Like wraiths of the abyss, telescope octopuses float and dangle in the deepest currents of Earth's oceans. Unlike most octopuses, this one doesn't flit about on the sea floor. Instead, it drifts through the water column at depths greater than 6,500 feet (1,981 meters), and it doesn't swim horizontally, but rather suspends itself vertically, perhaps to make it harder for deeper predators to see its shape.

If you were lucky enough to spot a telescope octopus, you'd probably wonder if the underwater pressure was making you see things. Its body is so clear that it's nearly transparent, and between each of its eight tentacles is a delicate webbing that lends this species a ghostly shape.

In that cellophanelike flesh, you'll see two protruding eyeballs unlike those found in other octopuses. These eyes provide wider peripheral vision so that the octopus can see predators and prey alike. Like something out of a sci-fi movie, those eyes also rotate, perhaps offering the creature an even better way to see through the darkness of its deep haven.


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