paper nautilus hawaii video

Screengrab via KHON2 News/YouTube

This rarely spotted ocean creature washed up on a Hawaii beach, and the video is mesmerizing

Here's how we know it's a female.


Josh Katzowitz


Posted on May 20, 2017   Updated on May 24, 2021, 1:46 pm CDT

The video below shows a rarely-spotted paper nautilus, a type of octopus that lives (and usually dies) in the middle of the ocean, far from land and far from where anybody can find it. But this week, a paper nautilus (aka an Argonaut) washed up on shore in Oahu, Hawaii, and one quick-thinking person named Tiphareth Aquarian got video of it.

According to KHON, the sea creature was returned to the ocean after the video was taken, and we presume it survived its ordeal (though, obviously, we really have no way of knowing).

So, what it was doing on the shore in the first place? According to a University of Hawaii at Manoa assistant biology professor named Megan Porter, the creature might have been drawn in to shore by lights or might have simply got swept up by a wave.

“What the picture shows is a shell that the females in this particular group of octopus makes themselves as a protection for their eggs,” Porter told the TV station. “So it’s an egg case that they carry around with them to protect their eggs while they’re developing. I don’t think that they come in close to shore very often, or they’re out at times when people aren’t out in the water, so to have one wash up on shore where people can actually see it, it’s actually rare.”

According to Earth Touch News, male Argonauts measure less than a half-inch. So, the one in the video above is undeniably a female.

Here’s what the paper nautilus look like in action.

H/T Bro Bible

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*First Published: May 20, 2017, 1:37 pm CDT