What if you were an explorer that recorded the ocean’s splendor and discovered debris and garbage getting in your way at every turn? That’s what researchers came across when they recorded the cute dumbo octopus swimming in its natural splendor — amid mankind’s garbage.

What’s so great about this octopus?

The dumbo octopus is a fascinating specimen due to its mysterious habits and reclusive habitat located miles under the ocean’s surface. Researchers embarked on a mission to explore the Davidson Seamount, a subaquatic mountain located in the Pacific ocean that reaches over 7,000 feet tall.

Ocean Exploration Trust/NOAA

Around the underwater mountain, they discovered the rare dumbo octopus, a translucent creature whose fins flap like elephant ears. Researchers note that dumbo octopus sightings are a rare treat, including the bevy of dumbo octopus colonies harboring eggs on the seabed.

The human garbage equation

During the exploration mission, however, explorers found debris in the form of Dr. Pepper cans and plastic bags littered throughout the ocean floor. Human garbage was an unusual find in such a deep part of the ocean, showing that the litany of human refuse knows no bounds and will penetrate almost any ecosystem.

Conservation Magazine

Scientists are concerned that garbage and other manmade debris could threaten the habitat of the dumbo octopus, leading to the possible disappearance of their colonies.

The wonders of the deep

In addition, scientists are concerned that human activity could threaten additional species living around the ocean floor. Scientists discover new marine species regularly, and a majority of the ocean’s waters have remained unexplored and impenetrable.


Due to advances in technology and exploration, researchers are reaching deeper waters and finding new species. However, newer species may be beyond our reach as debris grows more intrusive into sensitive ecosystems.