MONTEREY, Calif., June 17 (UPI) -- The search for the cutest octopus in the world is finally over. There are no defenses for the heart-melting looks of a newly identified -- but still unnamed -- species of octopus found deep in California's Monterey Bay.
The little octopus, which looks like a Pokemon character and Pacman ghost made a super cute cephalopod baby, is a member the genus Opisthoteuthis. Scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have been pulling them out of the bay since 1990, but failed to notice that the species was a bit different than its relatives.
Recently, Stephanie Bush, a postdoctoral fellow at the institute, noticed the species had a unique set of stumpy tentacles as compared to its relatives. Bush has since examined the unnamed species' internal and external anatomy, documenting its uniqueness. As a result, she's been granted the naming rights.
"As someone that's describing the species you get to pick what the specific name is," Bush told Science Friday. "One of the thoughts I had was making it Opisthoteuthis Adorabilis -- because they're really cute."
The octopus uses its short, stumpy legs to hover just above the sea floor as it looks for food -- worms and small crustaceans. It's ear-like fins on the top of its head help the adorable creature steer.
Bush says what makes it especially cute are its big, sad, puppy dog eyes. They're unusually large for the animal's small body, she points out.