Thanks to my friend Kerry, over the summer I got really into octopus and discovered this lovely deep sea octopus. Honestly, it never ceases to amaze me the kind of creatures that inhabit the extreme reaches of our planet. the ear-like flaps are there to help propel it underwater, so as to conserve as much energy as possible in the harsh environment of the deep sea.
It was the inspiration for the below mermaid. Original sketches follow.