In 2019, the Nautilus Live team happened upon an estimated 1.3 m (4.2 ft) long octopus at a depth of around 1,600 meters (5,250 feet). The animal billowed like a circus tent during its five-and-a-half-minute encounter with the E/V Nautilus ROV.
Those “big ears” are fins on its mantle, the organ and muscle-filled area right behind the animal’s head.
“Little is known about Cirroteuthid octopuses other than that they often swim or drift near the seabed at depths of over 2,000 m (6,600 ft) where light does not penetrate the cold waters. Because of their hard-to-reach habitat, catching a glimpse of these cephalopods is made possible through specialized technologies like those employed aboard the E/V Nautilus.
“The team spotted the delicate octopus while exploring Southwest Baker Island in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, which makes up one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world. Just north of the equator, Baker Island is an uninhabited atoll surrounded by a rich diversity of marine life. “
h/t, Michael Broadstock.