WOODS HOLE (CBS) – Newly released video shows the first moments of life for one of the ocean’s most mysterious creatures.

Researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod say that while they were exploring underwater mountains off the East Coast back in 2005, they had the opportunity to film a dumbo octopus hatching from its egg.

The dumbo hatchling shortly after leaving the egg capsule, which is barely two centimeters long. (Photo credit: Timothy M. Shank, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

“It was the first time that such a deep-sea octopus was observed directly during hatching,” said lead study author Liz Shea. The findings were recently published in the journal Current Biology.

Dumbo octopuses live on the bottom of the ocean floor and are recognized by their round fins that resemble elephant ears.

An adult dumbo octopus (Image credit: NOAA)

The scientists said they were surprised to see how mobile the octopus was immediately after hatching.

Researchers said they want to emphasize how important it is to conserve largely unknown deep-sea habitats that are threatened by trawling and mining operations.