A squid that resembles a character from The Muppets and another with fins likened to Mickey Mouse's ears are among a weird mix of newly discovered New Zealand sea creatures.

The freshly described cephalopods – a class that includes squids and octopuses - highlight the abundance of life out in our vast marine estate still waiting to be revealed.

The specimens were collected by Niwa during an expedition to the Kermadecs, before being defrosted and analysed by researchers at AUT's squid lab.

"This is my students' favourite part of the work we do — we call it 'squid Christmas' because