September 24, 2022

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A rare “rainbow-like” octopus has been spotted off Lady Elliot Island in Queensland.

The striking creature, known as a blanket octopus, is hardly ever seen in the wild.

Marine biologist Jacinta Shackleton admitted that across her four years conducting research and diving on the Great Barrier Reef, she’d never come across the technicoloured marine mollusc before.

“When I first saw it, I thought it could have been a juvenile fish with long fins, but as it came closer, I realised it was a female Blanket Octopus and I had this overwhelming sense of joy and excitement,” she said.

“I kept yelling through my snorkel, ‘It’s a blanket octopus!’ I was so excited I was finding it difficult to hold my breath to dive down and video it.

“Seeing one in real life is indescribable, I was so captivated by its movements.”

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