The 6 foot long membrane of the manta octopus is revealed, like a majestic sea butterfly.

Some of the world’s most impressive creatures could be living nearby without us realizing it. But when we spot them, most of us can’t help but share their beauty with the world. This is exactly how a cephalopod instantly became a web celebrity.

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Staff working at NAD Lembeh Resort in Indonesia caught video of a female manta octopus swimming and showing off her beautiful iridescent membrane. The video went viral with more than 76,000 views, drawing attention to these unusual (not to mention fascinating) creatures of the deep sea.

Dear pandas, you are in for a treat because manta octopuses are amazingly interesting. So scroll down, enjoy, and read on for Bored Panda’s interview with NAD Lembeh Resort’s Simon, who shot the video.

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“I was snorkeling near the beach at NAD Lembeh looking for plankton one night and was lucky enough to find this beautiful animal,” Simon told Bored Panda. “I have done thousands of dives around Lembeh Island looking for the best places to find plankton so that I can give our guests the best experiences and at the same time make a book about the planktonic stages of marine life. Sometimes we travel for 2 hours to get to deep water, and one day I found the most special sea creature swimming on our beach! Very funny, really.

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“Drifting in the open sea is definitely a thrill for most divers as you really don’t know what you’re going to see,” Simon told us of the thrill of swimming in the open sea. “Sometimes your brain plays tricks on you; and for no good reason you’re humming the tune from ‘Jaws’ as you swim in the inky black looking over your shoulder.”

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He continued: “Other times you are so busy looking at things that you don’t even consider what might be below you. Unfortunately, there are so few sharks left that it is statistically irrelevant that you can see a large shark in Asia in the open ocean.”

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Simon said it’s hard to predict when manta octopuses will show up. “But there is a season in which they are more frequent: the key is to know the natural history of these oceanic creatures and have the experience to find them. Fortunately, they are often found at the same time as the Argonauts, so there is always something interesting to see – you don’t get bored looking for this magical marine animal.”

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“It has been a year since we found the first one for us and we have seen 8 large females like in the video and around 60 juvenile females and adult males. The adult females that we have seen are usually around 1 meter long while the adult males are around 4 centimeters long. Adult males and juvenile females look a lot alike, so we just recorded them together for our records.”

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Simon said the reaction to his video has been “mostly great.” However, he also noted that “as a content producer, you always have to worry about your material being stolen and rebranded.” And that poses many challenges.

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