The crew aboard the research vessel Nautilus got quite the show this week when two deep-sea octopuses were caught mid-battle off the California coast. 

Many have asked whether this pair of metre-wide cephalopods could be mating, but save for one recently rediscovered species, octopuses don't usually get it on beak-to-beak.

Instead, most opt for the "piggyback" stance, like you can see in this video, ensuring the entangled mates are ready to defend themselves from threats should the need arise. Moreover, female octopuses have two oviducts (the tubes that lead to the ovaries), meaning they are actually capable of mating with two males at once (and that’s not possible in the beak-to-beak position).

But this show of bravado off the California coast wasn't the only awesome encounter on the ROV's most recent expedition. Check out this adorably shy Dumbo octopus (genus Grimpoteuthis) who decided to hide from the ROV's bright lights by covering its eyes with its tentacles!

Want more amazing footage? You can watch the expedition live on the Nautilus website!