NOAA scientists monitoring the Gulf of Mexico sea floor documented a recent battle between sea creatures inside a shipwreck 6,000 feet deep.
“He’s breaking apart the wreck,” one of the scientists notes in the accompanying footage, which was captured last Friday via ROV, run by a crew aboard the Okeanos Explorer.
The scientists jokingly refer to the first creature as a Kraken, a mythical sea monster, but quickly identify the animal as a muse octopus. (See Facebook post.)
The camera follows the octopus as it enters a ship wreck and unsuccessfully battles another muse octopus for control of the prime hiding space. At one point, slithery arms grasp and tear wood from the shipwreck.
“Guys, if you could have your creature stop tearing apart the shipwreck, that’d be great,” comes a request from shore-based scientists following along.
After a losing battle, the first octopus returns to the open sea floor and appears to throw a tantrum, by wriggling in the sand.
“He’s just very upset that he couldn’t take that hiding spot from the other octopus,” a scientist narrates. The octopus, turning from pink to bright red in the lights of the ROV, ultimately swims out of range.
The NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer will be studying deep-sea habitats in the Gulf of Mexico through May 3.