Rare footage showing a completely transparent octopus lurking in the ocean has amazed viewers.
The “glass octopus” – real name Vitreledonella richardi – only has a few visible features thanks to its see-through exterior.
Its optic nerves, eyeballs and digestive tract are all that can be seen which has made sightings of the creature extremely rare.
Scientists had previously been forced to learn about the animal by studying specimens found in the gut of its predators.
But marine biologists from the Schmidt Ocean Institute were treated to an astonishing 20 minute encounter with the sea animal during a recent expedition.
Footage posted to their Instagram shows the alien-like octopus swimming in the Phoenix Islands' Winslow Reef.
Behind the camera, an amazed biologist says: “This is going to be some of the best imagery of it.
“Oh my gosh, this is outstanding.”
Another adds: “That could be one of the coolest things I have ever seen.”
In the caption to the video, Schmidt Ocean Institute explained how the octopus’ organs are “oriented to minimize casting shadows from below, to keep the animal hidden from predators”.
“There is limited live footage of this creature, so scientists have mostly learned about it by studying specimens found in the gut contents of other animals,” they added.
“20 minutes of observing its behavior in the deep was a real treat.”
The video has been seen thousands of times since being posted on June 27 and viewers were understandably in awe at the breathtaking sight.
“She’s beautiful and incredible,” one wrote.
Another commented: “What a fabulous looking creature.”
The octopus was filmed by Schmidt Ocean Institute’s underwater robot SuBastian, which also captured footage for the first time of a rare whale shark.
The deep-water species dates back millions of years and can grow to be more than 40 feet in length.
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