At some point between September 2011 and October 2011, the baby octopuses hatched. The 4.5-year-long brooding period, the scientists say, gave the young octopuses plenty of time to grow, making them better equipped to survive the frigid waters nearly a mile below the surface. "These surprising results emphasize the importance of parental care in producing well-developed offspring that can cope with the rigors of the deep-sea habitat," says Bruce Robison, a Monterey Bay Aquarium biologist, in a press release.
A timeline (with important cultural touchstones):
May 2007: Researchers spot the octopus mom, with eggs, clinging to a rock at the bottom of Monterey Submarine Canyon.
July 2007: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix hits theaters. Octopus mom, being a deep-sea cephalopod, does not get tickets.
November 2008: Barack Obama wins the U.S. presidential election. Octopus mom guards eggs.
July 2009: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is released.
November 2009: The New York Yankees win their 27th World Series Championship. Octopus mom, probably a Giants fan, guards eggs.