The “dumbo octopus” trails through the sea like a phantom, flapping its fins like a ghost.
It also has bizarre webbed tentacles — which is why it is sometimes dubbed the umbrella octopus.
The beast was found by an underwater drone off the coast of California.
The E/V Nautilus team can be heard clapping and cheering in footage of the rare encounter, filmed on October 23.
“At first the ghostly octopod drifted past the camera flapping its pair of wing-like fins”
The team had seen little more than sea pigs before the shocking encounter.
One researcher said, “Hey big fella,” when the creature loomed into the shot.
“I can see it ripple,” said another one appreciatively.
They used scaling lasers to determine the deep sea creature was an impressive 60cm long.
The average size is between 20 – 30cm.
The serene-looking critter lives at depths below 1,000ft and feeds on crustaceans near the ocean floor.
“At first the ghostly octopod drifted past the camera flapping its pair of wing-like fins, then it inverted its web, spreading it like an umbrella to reveal the eight arms each with a single series of suckers and two series of finger-like muscular structures called cirri,” the team said.