This tiny octopus looks as though it could be a character out of a Pixar movie. With large eyes, tiny flapping fins and a blob-like body, the octopus is too adorable. In fact, this magnificent mollusc is so adorable, it might just be scientifically named so.
"As someone that's describing the species you get to pick what the specific name is," Stephanie Bush, a postdoctoral fellow at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, told Science Friday. "One of the thoughts I had was making it Opisthoteuthis adorabilis—because they're really cute." Stephanie Bush, you are not wrong there. Check out the video below from Science Friday to find out more about this adorable octopus.
Characteristic of this sweet cephalopod is the webbing between its tentacles. The webbing gives the octopus a balloon-like bounce, allowing it to optimally glide through currents while using its fins to control its direction.
"These animals are part of the greater ocean ecosystem," Bush said. "And in order to have a healthy functioning ocean ecosystem we need to understand the ecology and behavior of the individual species."
But the possible Opisthoteuthis adorabilis is not the first to be given an unscientifically strange species name.
In 2011, a horse fly was named Scaptia beyonceae after the singer and actress Beyonce because of its golden booty. The jellyfish Phialella zappai was scientifically named after rock singer Frank Zappa in the scientist’s sneaky bid to meet the musician. And quite impressively, the dinosaur Tianchisaurus nedegoapeferima was formed from the surnames of the main stars of the 1993 film "Jurassic Park" – Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Golblum, Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, Ariana Richards, and Joseph Mazzelo.
These bizarre species names ultimately prove that when you’re a scientist, you don’t always have to play by the rules.
[H/T: Science Friday]